Ijaw Leaders Promise To Resolve Militancy In 30 Days If…
BEVERLY HILLS, AUGUST 13, (THEWILL) – Apex body of the Ijaw ethnic nationality, the Ijaw National Congress, INC, has expressed sadness that the struggle for self-determination and resource control has claimed many lives in the region, calling on the federal government to be cautious in its efforts to resolve the Niger Delta crisis.
The INC, which warned against the use of military might in the Niger Delta, stressed that “We have martyred enough of our youths. We don't want one more single blood to be shed in the Niger Delta. Therefore, I appeal to the federal government to give the INC the opportunity to wade into this matter. We will come out with settlements that are implementable.
Speaking with newsmen at the INC secretariat in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Friday, the newly sworn-in national president of the body, Chief Charles Harry urged the federal government to declare a 30-day moratorium in the Niger Delta and allow the congress to restore peace in the region.
He was optimistic that the body could resolve the challenges of militancy in the Niger delta region within 30 days if the Federal Government ceases hostilities in the region.
Harry, who stated that the body appreciates the underlying reasons for militancy in the region, called on the federal government to take steps that will redress challenges of underdevelopment in the area.
“We ask for peace to return to the region;shooting and bombings can be resolved in 30 days,” he said, pointing out that the Federal Government also had a role to play for enduring peace to reign in the region.
While advising the federal government against more bloodshed in the region, the INC president warned that the congress would not hesitate to press for war crimes against the government should there be another military invasion of the area.
“The anomie of Odi must not repeat itself because if it does, we will have no choice than to approach the International Criminal Court of Justice at The Hague for war crimes against hapless and helpless people. Please we appeal to the federal government. We are not making ourselves the point of negotiation but we are saying as the titular body of the Ijaw nation of which every single Ijaw son or daughter is a member, the INC has the moral and the consensus right, ability and duty to bring this anomie to an end. Let them have the rapprochement with us and we will do the needful.
“If the Federal Government is willing and sincere, we ask for 30 days. Peace can return to the Niger Delta in 24 hours if the right thing is done; if there is truth, faithfulness. Negotiations take time but armistice can be done in 24 hours.”
Harry stated that Ijaw people and other people of the Niger Delta were suffering in the current dispensation in the country and called for a restructuring of the nation.
“An Ijaw man is suffering from the yoke on his neck. The oil in our area has become a weapon of destruction and it is intolerable. We suffer acid rain and our people still drink from the same water they defecate inside,” he said.