Niger Delta leaders have issued a three-month ultimatum to the Federal Government to restructure the country and convene a national dialogue comprising representatives of ethnic groups in order to chart a new course for the country.
This position was contained in a communique issued at the end of a South-South zonal conference held in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, on Friday.
The conference which has critical stakeholders and representatives of ethnic nationalities in the region was organised by the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development in partnership with Agape Birthrights Development Initiative.
Elder statesman and Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, was represented at the event by Chief Obiuwevbi Ominimini who read his address. Others also at the conference include career diplomat and Nigeria’s former Ambassador to Czechoslovakia, Dr Godknows Igali; and the National Chairman of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, Senator Emmanuel Ebok-Essien.
While restating the urgent need for restructuring and devolution of more powers to states, they said oppressive and repressive tendencies against the Niger Delta region and its people would no longer be tolerated and urged the apex government to stop selling out their resources to the Chinese and others.
The stakeholders cutting across the nine states of the region said at the expiration of the three months deadline, the Niger Delta people will commence the process that will guarantee their freedom and progress.
The communique was read by prominent Niger Delta activist and President of Agape birthrights development Initiative, Ms. Ann Kio-Brigss partly stated, “We the people of the Niger Delta hereby give the Government of Nigeria a three months window, within which to cordially address our concerns towards re-federalizing the polity, by convening a national dialogue of the representatives of the ethnic groups in Nigeria to chart a new course for the country.