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No further talks with FG on Niger Delta, says UNDEDSS

By Seye Olumide
23 November 2020   |   3:15 am
A Niger Delta socio-political group, United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Service (UNDEDSS), has regretted that Nigeria was fast moving towards anarchy. The group blamed President Muhammadu Buhari

UNDEDSS Secretary General, Mr. Tony Uranta

A Niger Delta socio-political group, United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Service (UNDEDSS), has regretted that Nigeria was fast moving towards anarchy. The group blamed President Muhammadu Buhari’s lackadaisical manner of handling critical national issues for the gradual falling apart of the country.

UNDEDSs said it has decided to place an embargo on any form of discussions with the Federal Government on issues and plights of the Niger Delta people following the failure of President Buhari to honour his promises over the 16 point demands laid directly before him by the region’s leaders and elders in 2016.

Secretary-General of UNDEDSS, Mr. Tony Uranta, who made the position known to The Guardian yesterday, said all future cooperation with the Federal Government has ceased, because of President Buhari’s failure to keep to his promises.

Recall that one of the reasons that aggravated the lingering #EndSARS crisis was the lack of trust in the government by organisers of the protests even when some of their demands were accepted.

Similarly, UNDEDSS said its decision would remain until the 16-point demands are urgently and comprehensively met as promised by the president at a parley held in Aso Villa.

“Niger Delta will mark any putative regional leader, who will attempt to break the no-more-dialogue embargo. Enough is enough. We shall no longer remain in a union, where we are third-class citizens,” the group stated.

UNDEDSS said President Buhari is yet to honour the promise he made to its leaders four years after the document was presented to him by King Alfred Diette Spiff and Chief Edwin Clarke in which the region asked for economic development and empowerment for the zone.

MEANWHILE, a human rights Activist and Itsekiri High Chief, Mrs. Rita Lori-Ogbebor, has appealed to Niger Delta youths to eschew violence, saying that the Federal Government must take urgent steps in engaging with the angry youths.

While maintaining that dialogue remains the best means to address the crisis, Lori-Ogbebor identified the immediate problem of Niger Delta and the country in general as unemployment.

“But we can solve the problem. Let us have the peace of mind and focus to tackle this problem. There is hunger in our land, our rural areas are desolate and violence will not help us now,” she surmised.

Similarly, another human rights activist and member of Pro National Conference Organisations (PRONACO), Mr. Tony Nnadi, said there is a need for Buhari to go back and honour his promise to restructure Nigeria.

Nnadi, who is a legal practitioner, said the UNDEDSS’ warning and threats by IPOB and Oodua Peoples Congress as well as other militia groups calling for restructuring were evidence that something fundamental is wrong with the current constitution.

Nnadi said it was unthinkable that the Niger Delta 16 point-demand could be treated in isolation, while the Southwest, Southeast, and Middle Belt among others have their separate demands.

“This government should not think it can take arms and ammunition to kill or suppress all these agitators; that is impossible. We must return to the dialogue table to address our constitutional problems.”

Part of the Niger Delta 16 points-demand is the implementation of the Brass LNG and fertiliser plant project, including the NLNG Train 7 in Bonny, a review and update of the national gas master plan to integrate the economic interests and industrialisation of the region, amongst others.

They are yet to be implemented, alongside key regional critical infrastructural projects, including the East-West Road, and the full implementation of the rail project designated to run through the Niger Delta region to Lagos.

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