THE CONDEMNABLE SELF-INFLICTING NIGER DELTA AVANGERS MILITANTS ATTACKS ON OIL AND GAS ASSETS IN DELTA STATE – NOT IN THE INTEREST OF THE DELTA STATE PEOPLE
By Zik Gbemre
We once again condemn in the strongest term the recent reawakened militant bomb blasts attacks on Oil and Gas Pipelines/Assets in strategic areas of Delta State and other parts of the Niger Delta region by the so called Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).
As relevant Stakeholders and Advocates of Sustainable Peace and Development in Delta State, the Niger Delta region and the entire country in general, we condemn in serious terms, the renewed militancy activities in the region which evidently; is creating more harm and damage on an already deplorable situation of the region. There is nothing that is so delusional, self-inflicting and self-harmful than when one uses his own hands to destroy his own natural environment, eco-system, economic wellbeing of his people and the future of its younger generations; in the name fighting for any “cause” – no matter how justifiable or noble such a cause might be painted.
Aside the economic sabotage these militants activities have created in the last couple of weeks with their ill-advised actions, the destruction of our farmlands, rivers and natural environment and the whole eco-system in the Niger Delta region, and the damage that is left behind from every bomb blast of Oil and Gas Pipelines/Assets; cannot to remedied and restored easily in years to come. Why do we like using our own hands to inflict ‘serious injuries’ on ourselves, our environment and our generations unborn just for ephemeral gains in the name of fighting for a cause? And later on, it is same set of people that will be crying out for the damage caused by Oil and Gas exploration in the industry. Must the so called faceless Niger Delta Avengers blow up Oil and Gas Pipelines/Assets to drive home their point? In whose interests are they really agitating and fighting for with their self-injurious actions? Definitely not in the interest of the Niger Delta people. The said Niger-Delta Avengers (NDA) are not doing what they are doing or fighting for the Niger Delta people in any way. They are not representing the interest of Deltans or anybody neither are they fighting for anybody but only their selfish interests.
It is like the proverbial “cutting the nose to spite the face”. Apart from the damage to the environment and increased sense of insecurity in the region, the Niger people will suffer more from the negative economic impact. For instance, with reduced oil production, oil revenue accruing to the states and LGAs based on the 13% derivation will decline significantly. Some of the demands of the Niger-Delta Avengers (NDA) are misplaced. On the other hand, the last administration under Goodluck Jonathan had the opportunity to address some of the more germane issues but failed to do so. Our greatest worry is that the attacks are focused on Delta State, so we are likely to bear the brunt more than other oil producing States. Urhobo leaders should ensure that oil facilities in Urhoboland are protected and that our youths do not join or support the Niger-Delta Avengers (NDA). Let us not forget the Jonathan administration neglected the Urhobos and other non-Ijaw groups in the Niger Delta.
We believe there are far better ways to draw the attention of the Federal Government to register home whatever grievances that they may have that needs to be addressed, without resorting to such mindless violence that are damaging our environment, economic wellbeing and the image of the Niger Delta people in the eyes of the world. Blowing up Oil and Gas Pipelines/Assets that are located in our farmlands and riverine areas is never the answer in trying to address any issue affecting the region. These militants, and those behind them, are with their self-destructive actions; only pouring kerosene to the already burning fire in the region.
We therefore strongly advise them to desist from their actions and realize the adverse impacts of what they are doing to their own people at the long run. And if these militants are being sponsored and used by those who are bent on sabotaging and destroying the efforts of the present Muhammadu Buhari administration, for reasons best known to them (as many as concluded is the case), the said boys should not allow themselves to be used as pawns and puppets in the hands of these saboteurs of the Federal Government to destroy their natural environment and their people. At the end of the day, it is the Niger Delta people and their future generations that will be left to keep breathing the polluted air and habiting in the dehumanizing natural environment. It simply does not make any sense.
Zik Gbemre, JP.
Niger Delta Peace Coalition (NDPC)