The Touted Niger Delta Republic
More revelations have emerged over why the planned declaration of the Niger Delta republic on June 1st by a group a Coalition of Network of Niger Delta Republic Fighters NNDRF was suspended or abandoned.
Pressures from various traditional leaders, stakeholders, and other ex-agitators within the region are said to have been brought to bear on the protagonist of the plan to have a rethink and dropped the plan in the interest of the innocent people in the region who would have been affected by the resultant confrontation.
It would be recalled that the Presidency had summoned some traditional leaders in the south south zone made up of the Niger Delta to prevail on the agitating boys to back down. The rulers it was gathered returned home and counseled the agitators against the path of rebellion.
However, it was gathered that despite assurances of the suspension of the June 1 declaration, the Federal government still mobilized the military to lay siege on Gbaramatu kingdom, the home town of the dreaded ex-militant Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo.
The siege on the kingdom which is in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State affected economic and social activities in the local government to the extent that the residents had to protest and called for the removal of the military from their communities.
Apart from the intervention of the elders and leaders from the region, various denunciations by many agitating groups rejecting the June 1 independence declaration also threw a spanner into the works of the independence declarant.
Among the various youth groups who distanced themselves from the NNDRF are the 21st Century Youths of the Niger Delta, Agitators with Conscience who publicly disassociated themselves from the planned declaration. The youths’ group had argued that such a declaration with the envisaged arms struggle does not augur well for the peace and progress of the region.
The two groups had rather caution against adopting violent armed struggle instead they canvassed a peaceful means of dialogue and engagement which will still achieve the same desired result albeit peacefully.
They also reasoned that violent and armed struggle will endanger the lives of the innocent people of the region who will be caught in the crossfire.
To add impetus to the opted peaceful line toe by the various youths group, it was gathered that a meeting organized at the instance of the Commandant General, Riverine Security, Coast Guard of the Federation, Commander Bibi Oduku was well received by the various agitating youths as many of them turn up at Apelebiri, Oduku’s hometown in Patani, Delta state to discuss the issue of independence.
Speaking at the meeting Commander Oduku is reported to have said “The Federal Government has already put security agencies on the ground to apprehend any lawbreaker while riverine security is working with the police, Army, Navy, and Airforce to nip the plan in the bud.
We are working hard to fish out any group or groups funding or supporting the declaration of the Niger Delta Republic and other criminal activities. I assure you that there will be peace in the Niger Delta” Boasted Oduku