Raises alarm over influx of foreign militias in Lagos
Sola Ojo, Kaduna
The Secretary-General of the United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDEDSS), Tony Uranta, on Thursday said that the Niger Delta region would do everything legally possible to ensure the controversial water resources bill does not see the light of the day.
Uranta, who claimed to be speaking for the likes of Asari Dokubo, Government Ekpemupolo (‘Tompolo’) and a host of other Niger Delta voices, while featuring on Arise Television breakfast show monitored in Kaduna, said the region would resort to ‘civil disobedience’ to resist the attempt to force the bill down their throats by forces in Abuja, FCT.
Two days ago, the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, had described the critics of the reintroduced national water resources bill as ‘anti-people’ who have no understanding of the provisions of the bill.
‘Since when does anybody care about what happens in the Niger Delta? I’m telling you that since May 29, 2015, Mr President made a promise which has not been kept till date. We know what is best for us. We have stated what is best for us and that is we don’t want water resources bill or act.
‘However, because the issuance of cohesion of security is in the hand of Abuja, they believe they can throttle us and force anything down in our throats. I don’t think they follow history. They cannot and will not. It shall not stand.
‘I’m saying this categorically not only me, but I’m also speaking on behalf of peoples of Niger Delta. We are totally opposed to this bill in any form and we hate the fact that we are seeing as such easy pushover.
‘Whenever they want to talk about corruption, they focus on Niger Delta. They say what have they done with 23 per cent derivation. Everybody forgets two things: what have they done with 87 per cent of funds that come from the Niger Delta?
‘Through the local government, they have given the majority of the money to the North even before sharing and we have not quarrelled. In the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), we have North Central, Northeast as members of the Board. Are they Niger Deltans? Has people from the Niger Delta being placed on the Northeast Development Commission?
‘I have met with the President and he has not done what he said he would do. The Niger Delta Avengers are saying we are misrepresenting them. How long can we take this?
‘We all work and pray for Nigeria’s progress, unity and peace. But, there can be no progress, unity and peace without justice, fairness and equity.
‘We are not accepting water resources bill even if it is passed as an act. We shall start civil action. Civil disobedient within the ramifications of the law.
‘Those of us that are moderate has been trying to bring sanity to the bare for the last five years on Nigeria and the Niger Delta. I don’t know what the agitated people in the creeks will decide to do,’ he said.
The former Secretary of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) also raised concerns on the alleged influx of foreign militias in a fast emerging new Lagos commercial hub, Lekki, calling on the residents to be on alert.
‘We really have to border. You remember our president was in Egypt when he told us he was going to throw our borders open even though he still kept southern, eastern and western borders closed. The northern borders were left open.
‘As a result, we have been having an influx of both Nigerian and Foreign militias and trained men who are escaping from Syria, Yemen, Libya, Mali and are now in Nigeria.
“In fact, if you don’t know, let me say this, they are here in Lagos. The whole of Lekki is full of them. Some of you who are living a big man life in Lekki should know this.
‘There are thousands of young men who are riding motorcycles who have access to small and rapid harms and we are in danger of losing our lives,’ he said.