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We’re fighting for justice, we’re not terrorists, Ijaw tells Buhari

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We're fighting for justice, we're not terrorists, Ijaw tells Buhari

Ijaw National Congress (INC), a socio-cultural organisation of the Ijaw ethnic nationalities, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari not to treat the Niger Delta people’s demands for equity as act of terrorism.

This is as the group advised the Federal Government to ignore calls by some groups and individuals that he should treat the Niger Delta militants like the Boko Haram.

Reiterating the people’s commitment to one indivisible Nigeria, the group maintained that the demand for equity, fairness and justice by Niger Delta youths must not be equated with terrorism.

INC President, Boma Obuoforibo, made this call when he addressed journalists in Port Harcourt on Friday.

According to him, “The Niger Delta youths’ demand for equity, fairness and justice is not terrorism. And it cannot be likened to the activities of Boko Haram that has killed and maimed thousands of Nigerians, kidnapped and raped several innocent women and girls, brought about untold hardship on thousands of Nigerians making them refugees in their own country.

“Besides, the world knows the sympathetic issues at stake in the Niger Delta and would always support the demanded equity, fair play and justice to a people facing annihilation. What is Boko Haram fighting for? Why is Boko Haram seizing territories? That they do not want western education? And what has the likes of Professor Ango Abdullahi done all these years to assuage the Boko Haram combatants to end their activities?” he said.

Read also: Niger Delta: Ex military Gov Umar cautions Buhari on use of force

Obuoforibo blamed the lingering crisis in the Niger Delta region on insincerity of successive governments and operators of the oil sector. He added that various intervention agencies which government had put up in the past in the oil region had performed below expectations.

He disagreed with those making claims that over 40 billion dollars have gone to the Niger Delta region without visible impact, describing them as “uninformed neophytes in the corridor of power.”

“Disappointingly, the evaluation did not indicate how much money was produced and derived from the region all these years to develop the Federal Capital Territory, the cities of Lagos, Kano, Kaduna and indeed the sustenance of the rest of the nation,” Obuoforibo said.

By Ebere Ndukwu …

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