There’s a covert attempt to deliberately decimate the people of the Niger Delta, elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, has alleged in a statement on Tuesday.
Pa Clark made the allegation against the backdrop of alleged maiming, killing and destruction ongoing in the region in the guise of several operations by the Armed Forces.
The occasion was the emergency General Assembly of the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) with the theme: “Security Situation: “Sustaining the Peace and Development in the Niger Delta Region,” held at the PTI Conference Centre, Effurun.
According to him, the alleged subtle extermination of people of the region should be enough reason for members of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) and other militant groups to sheathe their swords so that the agenda of the oppressors will not materialise.
He added that the various attempts at creating division in the region by external forces were to clandestinely move to gain unrestrained access to the oil and gas wealth of the region while the people continue to fight and destroy themselves.
He, however, affirmed that the move had failed because the people are now wiser and building bridges across the board to resist all common foes.
Clark, therefore, thanked the NDA and other militants for listening to the voice of wisdom to lay down their arms for further dialogue.
“However, despite all these in actions by the FG, I wish to thank the NDA for its understanding and accepting to extend the ceasefire.
“I wish to assure the NDA and other such groups that the elders be PANDEF are working round the clock to ensure that the FG and indeed the state governments of the region do the needful.
“Let us therefore not do anything that will give the government an excuse to kill, main and destroy us.
“Kindly sheathe your swords. I feel there’s a deliberate attempt to decimate the people of the Niger Delta region.
“People are attempting to create divisions and disunity in the region just to enable them to have unfettered access to our God-given wealth, while we continue to fight and destroy ourselves, but I tell you that they’ve failed and will continue to fail.
“Today, we have in this meeting our members who have all joined us again to seek in unity, the common good of the Niger Delta,” the octogenarian noted.
Clark appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to be more people-oriented and more people-friendly in approaching issues.