Sylvester Idowu in Warri
A prominent Ijaw activist, Mr. Joseph Ambakederimo, on Tuesday warned President Muhammadu Buhari against any negotiations with members of the Niger Delta Avengers or any group bombing oil facilities in the Niger Delta region.
He noted that militant groups masquerading as agitators for the underdevelopment of the region should be treated as criminals in line with the laws of the country.
Ambakederimo, who spoke during an interactive session with Journalists in Warri, insisted that the constitution spelt out those legitimately allowed to bear arms, notably the military and paramilitary, stressing that others should be dealt with as criminals.
“I don’t want to mentions the name, its sickening when they mention that name in my presence. They are just criminals and should be treated as such,” he said apparently referring to the dreaded Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).
The activist noted that it was high time the people started asking their leaders how they managed the resources in their care for the development of their areas instead of blaming the federal government.
He wondered what the governors in the Niger Delta States and all the intervention agencies established for the development of the region did with all the federal allocations that accrued to the area.
Ambakederimo, who is the convener of South-south Reawakening Group and hails from Bayelsa State, was particularly angry with former President Goodluck Jonathan for not taking the advantage of his position then to develop the region along with all others regions in the country.
“So what are those miscreants agitating for? They should hold their leaders responsible. They should make them to account for their stewardship while in office.
“So much money have come into the region and there are nothing to show for it and now you say you are carrying arms against the state for underdevelopment of the region. We must call our leaders to account for their actions,” he added.
The Ijaw activist noted that the Niger delta had not played politics of opposition since 1959 till 2015 because of formidable alliance between the region and monolithic north until last year, adding “we lost that opportunity last year due to the selfishness of a few people in the region.”