CONFAB: No To 'No Go Areas' —N/Delta Group

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A group, Voice of Amalgamated Niger Delta Ethnic Nationalities-VANDEN has

in strong term the stand of the Federal Government on the 'No Go Areas' in

forthcoming National Conference. In a statement after its meeting, the

group threw
its weight behind the removal of the clause 'No Go Areas'; insisting that

the so
called 'no go areas' must as a matter of national security and priority be

from the recently released modalities for the confab, as prescribed by the

Government. The statement was signed by Comr. Daniel Idonor (Delta), Barr.

Kiki Dan
Esueme (Bayelsa), Chief Shedrack Akaloku (Rivers), Hon Andrew Uquang (Akwa

Rt. Hon. Mkpanam Ekpo (Cross River), and Hon. Gabriel Oghogho (Edo).

It will be recalled that the Secretary to the Government Of The

Federation, Anyim
Pius Anyim, on the 30th January, 2014 released to the media the modalities

for the
National Conference.
The government had said that “The National Conference ….shall discuss

any subject
matter, except the indivisibility and indissolubility of Nigeria as a nation,

therefore the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable.”The group praised the

position of
the Federal Government as plausible, patriotic, well intentioned and fell

short of what is expected of a responsible government which no doubt the

administration of President Goodluck Jonathan is. The group stated that

“However the
realities of our post-independence political developments, more especially

in recent
times, make it necessary for us not to hold any issue sacrosanct,

including the
continuous existence of Nigeria as a nation.”It is true that the many ethnic

nationalities that composed the Northern and Southern Protectorates were

never asked
of their opinions on staying together before they were summed into this false

republic called Nigerian state by the colonial masters and since then

administrations and their various conferences have always taken the

question of
unity for granted”.”Yet until we boldly ask ourselves whether we want to stay

together or not and proceed to sincerely convince ourselves on why we

should remain
together as a nation or not, the various national questions and issues of

derivation, true federalism, indigene/settler differences,

marginalization, zoning,
corruption, tribalism, credible census and elections, religious tolerance,

insecurity amongst others, may never be genuinely resolved”.

“That we have continuously taken for granted that Nigeria must be one,

have also
made some sections of the nation take it for granted that they are always

demographically and therefore must rule over others and so whenever those

considered as 'not supposed to rule' find themselves in power, they should

be forced
out irrespective of the constitutional provisions.”The group stressed

further that
“the lot of the minorities especially the Niger-Delta minorities who for

though produce the resources on which the nation's economy is run, but

could not get
the opportunity to preside over the affairs of the nation until the

emergency of
President Goodluck Jonathan and since he is not from the 'anointed

majority' he must
be pressurized out of power by making the country ungovernable for him and

administration. This formed the centre of the insecurity in the Northeast

and the
intra party crisis within the national ruling party. This is in addition

to several
thousands of our people that have been killed in North since the unfortunate

almagamation due to socio-political and religious intolerance”. “In

essence, in a
nation where these high level of injustice, lopsidedness and impunity

prevail, it is
only pertinent that whenever there is an opportunity for a national

dialogue as
provided for by the soon to be held national conference, the primary

question of
whether we should exist as one nation or not should not only be asked but

must be
honestly answered and addressed. Suffice to say that the answers we get

from that
question will form the very basic base upon which we address all other

questions and issues”.The group therefore demanded that the 'No Go Areas'

must be
discussed at the confab.