Ijaw communities in Gbaramatu kingdom, the Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, on Friday, made a passionate appeal to the Niger Delta Avengers to accept the Federal Government’s dialogue.
The appeal came on the heels of renewed hostilities by the militants despite the Federal Government’s readiness to dialogue with the people of the region.
The militant group had on Thursday night attacked an offshore oil pipeline belonging to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation criss-crossing the Shanomi creek and Ogidigben rivers.
The spokesperson for the communities and Chairman of Kokodiagbene community, Mr. Sheriff Mulade, said that the communities were the ones feeling the brunt of the incessant attacks as the militants were already making lives unbearable for the people.
Mulade said the group’s demands should not be personalised as the Niger Delta people were already aware of the degradation engulfing the region and were working assiduously to address them, stressing that dialogue was the only viable and veritable means to address grievances.
He said, “Our position is that the continued bombings of the region in view of the cease-fire arrangement are highly condemnable. They are technically crippling the economy to enable them to get what they want. So, they should not personalise their demands.
“Some of the things they highlighted are what the Niger Delta people are agitating for and violence is not the best way to get those things done. We think they are only taking advantage of the government’s failure to address these fundamental issues.’’
An Ijaw leader, Chief Jeffery Ojogun, said one of the solutions to the renewed hostilities in the region was the full operation of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko.
Ojogun, a former Chairman of Benikrukru Community, which is host to several multinational oil companies in the Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, described the continued attacks on oil facilities as “unfortunate.”
According to him, dialogue should be adopted in resolving the renewed hostilities in the region and commended President Buhari for ordering a two-week ceasefire in the troubled region.
He said, “I am pained by the recent happening in the Niger Delta Region. The people of the region are responsible and peace-loving and this is why I am appealing that those breaching the peace in the region should allow peace to reign.”