By Adesina Wahab
To stem the rising tide of insecurity in the country, the Ijaw Elders’ Consultative Forum has called for the adoption of the community-based initiative, expressing optimism that it will work.
This is just as the group promised to work with the relevant stakeholders in the Niger Delta region to ensure the safety of lives and property of the people.
The group stated this in a communique issued at the end of its meeting held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Forum noted with concern the militarization of the region as well as the rising tension, stressing the need for a collaborative effort to promote the community-based initiative on security.
It read 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.”
This is even as the elders lamented the neglect of infrastructure 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
it declared that “the hen that lays the proverbial golden eggs can no longer accept to be treated with such neglect.”
It added: “The Ijaw also suffer disadvantage as it pertains to the existing fiscal regime and revenue allocation which is at total variance with the original allocation formula adopted by our founding fathers at the inception of Federal Government of Nigeria.”
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 and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr. Elvis Oglafa, without any justifiable reason.
The event brought together prominent sons and daughters of Ijaw extraction, including HRH Alabo, Emeritus Prof Dagogo Fubara, Prof Sotonye Amakiri, Real Admiral W.G. Yanga (rted), Chief Kalaiti Jephthah-Obadiah, Efiye Bribena and Annkio Briggs, among others.