Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has thwarted the proposed meeting of former Niger Delta militants, scheduled for Saturday.
The governor, who was said to have drafted a combined team of military and police personnel to seal off the Bayelsa House, venue of the meeting, elected instead to meet with the agitated militants to sort out issues related to the parley.
The meeting called by, Chief Government, Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, had sent the red light signals across the nation, as it was taken for a regrouping of the militants, who had, before the amnesty programme initiative by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua, almost crippled the nation’s economy, by attacking oil facilities and lowering production of Nigeria’s economic mainstay.
However, the ex-militant leader, in an apparent move to douse tension, assured that there was no cause for alarm as the meeting was to ensure peace in the land, even though he acknowledged that his colleagues in the struggle were agitating, having been abandoned, since the exit of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
However, Dickson, said in a statement, signed by his spokesman, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, that he would meet with the former militants leaders at a later date.
“Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson has called for the postponement of the proposed meeting of the leaders of ex-agitators in the Niger Delta, earlier scheduled for this Saturday, 25th of July, 2015 in Yenagoa by them,” Mr. Iworiso-Markson said, calling for the understanding and cooperation of all concerned.
The statement, however failed to cut any ice with the militants, as the Ijaw Youths Council in a statement by its spokesperson, Eric Omare, blamed President Muhammad Buhari for the development, accusing him of plotting to attack the Niger Delta region.
“The Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide condemn in the strongest terms the military invasion of Ijaw House, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State; the administrative headquarters of the Ijaw National Congress the Ijaw Youth Council and housing the Bayelsa State Ministry of Ijaw National Affairs and Culture,” he said.
“A combined team of military and police officers in the early hours of Friday, the 24th of July, 2015 invaded and took over Ijaw House, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State to prevent ex-Niger Delta agitators from having their proposed meeting on Saturday, the 25th of July, 2015.
“This is illegal, unconstitutional and a draw back to the dark days of military dictatorship where Nigerians were deprived of their fundamental rights.
“The IYC wishes to remind the President and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, that we are in a constitutional democracy where things are done according to law.”
“The fears of many Nigerians that General Buhari would take Nigeria back to the dark days of dictatorship where there is no regard for human rights are coming to reality,” he said.
“The IYC has it on good authority that President Buhari has an agenda to bomb and destroy the Niger-Delta region especially the Ijaw areas.
“The military movement into the Niger Delta region we have been reliably informed would commence this week.”