By Onozure Dania
WARRI—PRESIDENT of Itsekiri National Youth Council, INYC, Mr Esimaje Awani, has warned that if care was not taken, the approach of the Federal Government to the resolution of the Niger Delta crisis would exacerbate it.
In a statement, yesterday, he said: “I can say authoritatively that some of the proposals currently on the table do not constitute sustainable solution in a civilised society but only amount to negotiation of the very values upon which civilised societies rest.
“Unfortunately, these proposals have been placed on the front burner of issues obviously because they are intended to achieve ignoble aims, including to illegally claim territories belonging to other ethnic groups, making it appear, therefore, that there is only one ethnic group in the Niger Delta region.
“I call on the Federal Government to either be a government or accept that Nigeria is a failed state, in which case, people should be allowed to take laws into their hands, carry guns and blow up pipelines and have their demands met even if they are against the laws of the land.”
On the yet to be resolved issue of the naming of the proposed Nigeria Maritime University, Okerenghigho, which is a name declared for it by the Supreme Court, Awani argued: “The Nigerian Government should not be seen as acting against itself by succumbing to blackmail in the face of the judgement of the highest court of the land with respect to the naming of the site of the university.
By the pronouncement of the Supreme Court on the issue, the place remains Okerenghigho and not Okerenkoko and if any group of people is interested in having a university in the area, I believe that will be the Itsekiri, but why should the executive arm of government act against the judicial arm? We want to beg the government not to reward lawlessness because the ability to disrupt the flow of oil pipelines is not the exclusive preserve of one tribe. Those who elect not to destroy oil facilities should never be taken for granted.”
He urged government to weigh its options properly and act on the side of the law and established global practices rather than succumbing to blackmail as anything otherwise will be an invitation to anarchy which according to him, “several other tribes within the region will gladly honour.”