Chris Steven, Abuja
The Coalition for a New Nigeria (CoNeN) has condemned the renewed attacks on oil installations by the Niger Delta Avengers, which it described as a dangerous threat to return to a dangerous past that was best forgotten.
The coalition urged Nigerians to join in condemning the attack in the strongest possible terms.
This was as it tasked the federal government to weigh the option of going into negotiation with the militants with the view to avert a total destruction of the nation’s source of revenue.
A statement signed by the Co-Secretary of the Coalition of 50 Civil Society Organizations in Nigeria, Godspower Amuna on Sunday expressed concerns that the militants are doing long term damage to their own environment in the course of fulfilling the region’s pre-election threats to make the country ungovernable stressing that the local populations are likely to suffer more with further contamination and destruction of farmlands and fishing areas.
The statement noted that the drop in national revenue arising from the disruption of oil exploration is affecting all Nigerians including those in the oil producing areas whose wages and salaries are now being delayed.
“These militants should ask themselves if these undesirable outcomes are satisfactory to them enough to rule out other means of making demands on the state. It is a matter of time before counter groups that are opposed to this destruction will rise up and there will be no good ending in such scenario.
“We suggest that the militants should stop the attacks and slink away now before things get ugly for them. They should save themselves and the entire country a repeat of turning the Niger Delta into a theatre of war particularly when the people of the area have not fully recovered from the destruction caused by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND).
“We appealed to the Federal Government not completely rule out a peaceful resolution of the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta even as the directives are out to fish out criminal elements that are sabotaging the country,” the statement said.
It urged youths in the areas to dissociate themselves from the resurgent militancy at every opportunity they have since there is no alternative to gainful employment and enterprise.