Again, Shell declares force majeure on exports of Bonny light crude
Ernest Chinwo in Port Harcourt and Ejiofor Alike
The Ijaw National Congress (INC) has called on the federal government to declare a 30-day moratorium in the Niger Delta and allow the congress to restore peace in the region.
The apex body of the Ijaw ethnic nationality expressed sadness that many people had died in the region, in the struggle for self-determination and resource control and called on the federal government to be cautious in its efforts at resolving the issues.
Addressing journalists at the INC Secretariat in Port Harcourt on Friday, the President of the INC, Mr. Charles Harry, said while the congress appreciated the underlying reasons for militancy in the region, it did not support the approach adopted by militants for the resolution of the issues in the region.
He said: “We have martyred enough of our youths. We don’t want one more single blood to be shed in the Niger Delta. Therefore, I appeal to the federal government to give the INC the opportunity to wade into this matter. We will come out with settlements that are implementable.
“Let the Federal Government give a 30-day moratorium on their action and we will certainly get a ceasefire from the creeks. No government should use attrition, especially violent attrition, as the first way of resolving a problem within its own borders. Do they want our own military, paid, dressed, clothed and armed by money coming from the same Niger Delta to come and kill us? Who would they be shooting and bombing?”
While advising the federal government against more bloodshed in the region, the INC president warned that the congress would not hesitate to press for war crimes against the government should there be another military invasion of the area.
“The anomie of Odi must not repeat itself because if it does, we will have no choice than to approach the International Criminal Court of Justice at The Hague for war crimes against hapless and helpless people. Please we appeal to the federal government. We are not making ourselves the point of negotiation but we are saying as the titular body of the Ijaw nation of which every single Ijaw son or daughter is a member, the INC has the moral and the consensus right, ability and duty to bring this anomie to an end. Let them have the rapprochement with us and we will do the needful.
“If the Federal Government is willing and sincere, we ask for 30 days. Peace can return to the Niger Delta in 24 hours if the right thing is done; if there is truth, faithfulness. Negotiations take time but armistice can be done in 24 hours.”
Harry stated that Ijaw people and other people of the Niger Delta were suffering in the current dispensation in the country and called for a restructuring of the nation.
“An Ijaw man is suffering from the yoke on his neck. The oil in our area has become a weapon of destruction and it is intolerable. We suffer acid rain and our people still drink from the same water they defecate inside.