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Monday, May 17, 2021

Iwok Iniobong

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Niger Delta group seek region’s security outfit

The Niger Delta Congress (NDC) has urged governors in the region to urgently set up the region’s security outfit to protect the people against attacks amid worsening insecurity across the country. The group equally stated that the region was autonomous and comprises indigenous nationalities, and hence all move by groups to annex the region shall be resisted. In a statement after an extraordinary stakeholders meeting of representatives of all ethnic nationalities of the Niger Delta held in River State on Monday and signed by its leaders, including its national leader Nubari Saatah, the group canvassed that the NDC should be adopted as a medium to drive the unification and political agitation of the region going forward. According to the statement, “That the Niger Delta Congress be adopted as a vehicle to drive the unification of the economic and political agitations of the Niger Delta peoples going forward; “That the governors of the six states of the Niger Delta (Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and Cross River) should as a matter of urgency set up a regional security and intelligence outfit to protect the lives and properties of the people of the Niger Delta region. “That the Niger Delta Congress shall convene a Niger Delta Peoples Conference to be held in October 2021 to address several issues affecting the people of the region, and where major decisions on the future of the region within or without the Nigerian federation will be taken. “That the Niger Delta region is an autonomous region comprising of indigenous nationalities, and hence all actions by secessionist groups to annex the region shall and will be resisted,” the group said.

Stop waiting for Buhari, convene unity summit, Atiku urges governors

Atiku Abubakar, Nigeria’s former vice-president, has advised Nigerian governors to immediately convene a national unity summit to discuss the numerous challenges plaguing the country. Atiku, who was the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate in the 2019 election, advised the governors to stop waiting for President Muhammadu Buhari before they act, while urging them to work together irrespective of tribe, religion, or political affiliations. In a statement to the media Sunday evening, the former vice-president said the country would not resolve its numerous challenges if Nigerians still harbour regional mind-set in doing things. Atiku’s message is coming almost a week after the Southern Governors’ meeting in Asaba, the Delta State capital, where they banned open grazing by herders and called for the restructuring of the country among several other demands. He said though the Asaba meeting was necessary in view of the prevailing situation in the region, it was also important for governors in the country to unite so they could collectively tackle the nation’s challenges. According to him, “The truth is that if at a National level, we address these unNigerian tendencies immediately and dispassionately, we would not have Nigerians congregating at a regional or sub-regional level to address these issues. “What our present challenges therefore, call for is not fragmentation but concentration. We must concentrate and focus our national willpower and resolve towards fighting these unNigerian tendencies.” He further noted: “Governors representing some states have met. And I completely understand the necessity of their meeting and the wisdom of their decisions. But no matter how much you try to clap with one hand, the vibrations will not be the same as when you clap with two hands. “We have a national challenge. And as Albert Einstein said, ‘We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.’ These problems were created by those with a regional mind-set, and will not be solved by those with a similar mindset. “For too long, we have erroneously thought that the power to make effective changes lies at Aso Rock. But without the states, nobody can get to Aso Rock. That is why for anyone to emerge as President of Nigeria, he or she must secure enough votes in two-thirds of the states that make up the Nigerian federation.” The politician cum businessman therefore advised: “Let us apply this wisdom to our present challenges. I call on Nigerian governors to stop waiting on Abuja to make changes, and instead convene a National Unity Summit of all Nigerian governors to iron out the thorny issues affecting the destiny of our nation until they figure out a way to resolve them. “Forget about your party. Forget about your tribe. Respect your religion and allow it to bring out the better part of you. Meet together. Talk together. Come up with the solutions to all our collective challenges”.

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