Ex -militant leaders in the Niger Delta Region under the umbrella of Peace Cultural Development Initiative Forum have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that charlatans in the corridors of power do not destroy his administration, especially as regards issues bordering the region. They urged the President to, instead, always dialogue with the ex warlords on sensitive matters concerning the Niger Delta people.
The ex agitators also condemned the destruction of pipelines and other oil installations in the region by the Niger Delta Avengers, describing it as unnecessary.
The Secretary General, Peace Cultural Development Initiative Forum and a social crusader in the Niger Delta, General Nature Dumale Kieghe, stated this in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa state capital,Wednesday, while reacting to some sensitive issues affecting the region.
He adviced President Buhari to seek wise counsel from people that have the interest of the Niger Delta at heart, than from charlatans seeking cheap political gains.
Dumale caution the federal government to be more sincere and transparent in handling issues of the region including issues concerning the ex-agitators, and called for consultations between the ex agitators and federal authorities on issues relating to the welfare and security of the people.
He appealed to the federal government not to create divisions among the ex -militant leaders, saying that political interest should not be a yardstick for dividing the leadership of the group.
He called on the federal government to engage in proper consultations with genuine ex -militant leaders from the region before taking decisions that affect the people, noting that the struggle for the region was not for political parties, but for the well being of the people.
“The battle the ex agitators fought for the region was not for any political parties or groups, but for the interest of the people and the development of the region,” he stressed while denying that there is any division within the leadership of the ex militants in the region.
Dumale Kieghe, however, condemned in totality the recent activities of the Niger Delta Avengers, noting that pipeline vandalism affects the people directly, by polluting the ecosystem.
“Our environment, our parents’ farm lands have been destroyed, fishes can no longer be found in our creeks, so our people are suffering heavily,” he pointed out, and called on any aggrieved agitator to properly channel their grievances to the right quarters, than resorting to armed struggle.
The Secretary advised youths from the region not to take to violence, but channel their grievances to the appropriate quarters.
According to him, “it is when peaceful agitation fails that armed struggle and arms carrying becomes an option.”
Dumale Keighe also called on the Buhari government to improve on the monthly stipends being paid to the ex agitators and their foot soldiers to better their conditions.