Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
Niger Delta militants have declared that Federal Government’s meeting with elders and traditional rulers from the region would not stop bombing of oil installations in the region.
They said any meeting convened by the government without the inclusion of notable former Niger Delta agitators, was not intended to yield positive results.
Members of the Niger Delta Peoples Democratic Front (NDPDF) and Concerned Militant Leaders (CML), in separate messages yesterday, expressed doubt that the N10 billion development fund for the region proposed by Federal Government was sincere.
Leaders of NDPDF and CML simply identified as General Playboy and General Ben respectively, wondered why ex-agitators, who know the sufferings of communities in Niger Delta, would be discarded, adding that collective interest of the people would not addressed in the meeting.
Ben declared: “Pipeline bombing cannot stop because the people going for the meeting do not know what they are going there for. It is not the first, second, or third time and would not be the last. So, we cannot be deceived or bamboozled by whatever tag is given to the meeting.
“We insist on implementation of the reports of the National Conference and other reports on the development of Niger Delta region. Anything short of this, is insincere and will not be accepted. For a genuine peace, past reports of several commissions on Niger Delta must be visited.
Also, Playboy accused the elders of the under-development of the region.
He stated: “Our elders and leaders in Niger Delta are not helping matters at all, on issues bordering on the region. They do not really know the plights of Niger Delta people because they are wealthy, quite rich and do not take issues about the region seriously.
“They do not know the common people in the region because they do no base in Niger Delta and cannot show holistic commitment to our struggle. Our elders represent themselves, and not the people in the rural areas.
“I want to state that the negotiation they are embarking on will not yield any fruit because the people, who are embarking on that negotiation do not know the plights of our people. They are not the ones that should go and negotiate for Niger Delta people.
“We don’t need people who will play politics with the genuine struggle of Niger Delta people. We don’t want people, who are not agitators. The real agitators are people like Alhaji Asari Dokubo, High Chief Government Tompolo, Egberipapa, General Africa, General Joshua and many others.
“These are the kind of people that can negotiate for our people. They know the plights of the Niger Delta people because they live in the same environment with them. They do not base abroad. They come down to the communities to know the feelings of the people. Such people should represent us.
“Today, in some of our villages, you see oil spills; artisans are all dying because of the destruction done to our environment. We learnt President Muhammadu Buhari wants to provide N10 billion infrastructure fund for Niger Delta region. That is political sabotage. That negotiation is not in the general interest of Niger Delta people.”
He continued,”Note that none of the ex-agitators is in the negotiating meeting. With due respect, we respect our elders. But, for this meeting, we do not need them. As long as we are concerned, this meeting will not yield any positive result because the right people are not included. The real people are the freedom fighters because they know what they were fighting for.
“Niger Delta needs restructuring and does not need all this political arrangement. We have had enough of these meetings. Sincere implementation of recommendations about the region is what will end the agitation”.