Sunday Okobi and Ugo Aliogo
The Concerned Professionalsâ€™ Congress (CPC) has expressed support for last weekâ€™s declaration by the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), Gen. Abayomi Olonisakin, that the Nigerian armed forces should strictly checkmate new threats of hostilities and violent agitations against the country by the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).
A statement jointly issued on Saturday by the Chief Media Strategist, Mr. Emeka Nwankpa, and the South-south Regional Rapporteur, Desmond Odiwrri, said the warning by the defence was timely.
It also stated that the military has the requisite mandate, competence and professionalism to protect the overriding socio-economic interests of law-abiding citizens of the country, urging the NDA to tread cautiously by following constitutional in pursuing its mission.
CPC further stated that Olonisakin, who was at the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Warri, Delta State recently to inaugurate 20 new horsepower gunboats, lamented the continued threat posed to the nationâ€™s maritime interests by criminal elements.
It explained that the Defence Chief condemned the new threat of violence by NDA and gave assurance that the military under his watch would checkmate such threats decisively.
The group urged traditional rulers, community leaders, elders, youths, students, clergy, professional associations and the eldersâ€™ councils in the Niger Delta to prevail on the faceless militant organisation to stop them from issuing such threats that could bring untold hardship to the people of the region.
It added: â€œThe youths of the region should expose the masterminds of past pipelines bombings, this will prevent further moves to use the region to vandalise strategic national assets which will cause more hardship for the people of the region. These so-called Niger Delta Avengers cannot avenge anything for the people other than pursue their selfish and senseless agenda. Nobody supports threats that bring untold hardship on the people they claim to be fighting for.
â€œAt the last series of peace visits by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to the region, he restated the commitment of the federal government to pursuing dialogue, which he said was key to resolving the critical and fundamental issues of poverty, neglect and environmental degradation of the region.â€