According to a statement issued by the spokesperson for the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), Brigadier-General Mudoch Agbinibo, the Niger Delta region has sustained Nigeria for a long time but has received little in return.
Mr. Agbinibo’s statement lamented the neglect of the region by successive governments and emphasized that Niger Delta must be given the right to control its own resources and possibly be carved out from Nigeria.
“Since the day crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity and quality at Oloibiri in the present day Bayelsa State, what we have been asking from successive governments in Nigeria is potable drinking water in the midst of plenty of water mass, electricity, roads, employment, quality education/educational facilities, resource control, participation in the oil business and inclusive governance that would engender substantial freedom.
The statement continued by contrasting the living situations between local residents living lives of “terror of poverty, inhumanity, and desolate living conditions” compared to individuals who live at the oil facilities “operated by the multinational oil corporations, they are living like kings and presidents.”
Mr. Agbinibo elaborated by saying, “for over five decades, we have given the multinational oil corporations and their collaborator Nigerians peace, cooperation, and love for the crude oil to flow unhindered from our land. The continuous tranquility is only manifesting in the development of mountains, rock, valleys, deserts, and lagoon, while the Niger Delta territory continually alienated from all types of development and essence of quality human life.
“Meanwhile, all successive governments worship the crude oil taken from the region. Our communities and the people are only good at securing the pipelines, oil and gas facilities.
“What a tragedy! We are calling on the international community, especially Britain, France, United States, Russia, China and European Union (EU) to speak up against this ongoing terror and come to the aid of Niger Delta as witnesses to the grave inhumanity and history of terror perpetuated against the people of Niger Delta on daily basis.”
Excerpts of the statement are below:
“This history of terror, we the Niger Delta Avengers will resist and correct with every means necessary. We have nothing to lose in the battles ahead; justice they say is only found within the structure of a nation state, rather than provide this justice the Nigerian government has decided to mobilise her military might to intimidate, torture, maim, victimise and bombard a section of the nation state and her citizenry to allow the free flow of our oil. Some persons, groups, and commentators may ask, what do the people of Niger Delta want?
“We are not like some of these personalities who run champagne parties or turn Rivers State Government House into a house patrimony of god-sons and prebendalism. They say the progress and success of a nation state is the reflection of her constitution that is not manufactured to favour some section and excludes the yearning and aspirations of others; but the indwelling spiritual and historical development of its people.
“Since the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 to date, our resources have been used to sustain the political, administrative live wire of Nigeria to the exclusion of the Niger Delta. Finally, we are calling on the international community, to come and support the restoration of our right to peaceful self- determination from this tragedy of 1914 that has expired since 2014.
“We want our resources back to restore the essence of human life in our region for generations to come because Nigeria has failed to do that. The world should not wait until we go the Sudan ways. Enough is enough.”