From Omoniyi Salaudeen, Port Harcourt
Concerned with the daunting security challenges confronting the country, Ijaw Elders’ Consultative Forum has reiterated its commitment to work with the relevant stakeholders in the Niger Delta region to ensure the safety of lives and property of its people.
In a communiqué issued at the end of its meeting held at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, the IEF noted with concern the perceived militarisation of the region, stressing the need for a collaborative effort to promote community-based security initiatives.
The communiqué in part: ‘The meeting discussed the state of security in the Niger Delta and hereby reiterates the commitment of the Ijaw to work with other neighbours to protect our territories at the South-South regional level, using community and people-based initiative which had worked effectively in times past.’
The Ijaw elders lamented the neglect of infrastructures in the Niger Delta, especially the East-West road, environmental degradation, attendant loss of means livelihood as well as inadequate representation of its people in the scheme of things, declaring that ‘the hen that lays the proverbial golden eggs can no longer accept to be treated with such neglect.’
While calling of the Federal Government to do a total overhaul of the existing structure to ensure fairness and justice, the group decried the sudden removal of Director-General, National Agency for the Prevention of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), Mrs Julie Donli-Okah, and Secretary of the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission (ICPC), Mr Elvis Oglafa, without any justifiable reason.
Personalities in attendance at the meeting included HRH Alabo, Emeritus Prof Dagogo Fubara, Prof Sotonye Amakiri, Real Admiral W.G. Yanga (retd), Rear Admiral O.P Fingesi (retd), T.K Ogoriba, Chief Atamunu Atamunu, Mrs Mutu-Bamuza, Efiye Bribena and Annkio Briggs, among others.
It was resolved that an all-inclusive summit which would be attended by prominent sons and daughters of Ijaw land should be convened in the first quarter of 2021.