A peace-seeking group, Warri Ijaw Peace Monitoring Group ,(WIPMG), has admonished agitated groups in the Niger Delta region to discontinue the destruction of oil facilities and instead seek other non-violent means of seeking redress in their agitation.
The group in a press statement signed by its Chairman, Chief Patrick Bigha, aptly titled; ”agitating groups in the Niger Delta region should stop the destruction of Crude oil Facilities”, the group noted that violent agitations could only be counter-productive, as they give the military, the excuse to invade the communities and wreak havoc on the people.
The statement reads in part; ”We wish to call on all agitating groups in the oil rich Niger Delta region to explore non-violent means of engaging governments at all levels and International Oil Companies (IOCs), rather than resorting to the destruction of crude oil facilities in the region to avoid military actions in our communities and the harassment of perceived enemies of the present Federal Government of Nigeria.
”This call has become imperative as we have observed that the Nigerian military is very swift at harassing innocent villagers in the region, particularly communities along the oil rich Warri-Escravos area.
”We have noticed that the military and other security agencies have started plans to go after some persons who they perceived as enemies of the President Muhammedu Buhari administration.
The group further noted that military have always visited the communities with sufferings, which have never bode well for the people of the region.
”It is worthy of note that this method of the military has never helped the people in the region as it has further worsen the precarious socio-economic situation of the people.
”It is our belief that a peaceful resolution of the problems in the Niger Delta region, which successive governments including the present one has acknowledged, will usher in massive development into the region. The truth of the matter is that so much money has been expended on military actions in the region without achieving the desired peace.
”It has become a stock in trade of the Nigerian Military to employ violence in dealing with the Niger Delta situation because they are gaining so much from such crude methods of resolving crises in the region over the years.
The statement observed that some military personnels are profiting from military exercises in the area and are lining their pockets with money everytime they are staged in the region.
the group however, noted the current peace in the region and repeated its call for peaceful dialogues, to prevent some elements in the military to employ violent means for pecuniary interests which it said, does not always solve the challenges.
”We are aware of many military men that have made so much money from the problems in the region without addressing the main issues that brought about the problems in the first place.
”On a final note, we, of the WIPMG are happy with the prevailing peace in the Warri-Escravos route, therefore, want to sincerely appeal to agitating groups in the region to embrace peaceful means to press on their demands for the development of the region, so as not to give an excuse to the military to kill our people as well as line-up their pockets with money that would have ordinarily been used to develop the region”.