Chief Edwin Clark
Chief Edwin Clark

The Ijaw national leader Chief Edwin Clark said on Saturday that any dialogue between the Federal Government and militants in the Niger Delta would not yield result without involvement of Ijaw leaders.

Clark stated this at the Ijaw leaders consultative council meeting with Gov. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa and Delta Deputy Governor, Kingsley Otuaro in Warri.

The meeting was aimed at reaching common ground on the renewed militancy and its impact on the Niger Delta and Nigeria.

Clark in his opening remark, at the meeting held behind close door, said it was not the first time this kind of crisis was happening.

“In 2008 and 2009 similar incident happened and Gbaramatu was affected. We elders and leaders intervened and we got Amnesty.

“Today we hear that the Federal Government is planning, already talking or negotiating with militants and nobody has consulted us.

“That will not work. These children are our children and we cannot fold our hands when they are being attacked and pretend not to notice.

“We must be involved in whatever the government wants to do,” he said.

At the end of the closed door meeting of the consultative forum of Ijaw leaders, a communique was read and made available to newsmen.

According to the communique, the Elders and Leaders of thoughts of the Ijaw nation call for the immediate restructuring of the Nigerian nation along the lines of peaceful federalism.

“As panacea for the sustainable development of Nigeria.

“As a demonstration of sincerity of commitment to dialogue, Federal Government should immediately withdraw the military from all occupied Ijaw communities, particularly Gbaramatu kingdom,” it added.

The meeting also called on the Federal Government to immediately release the 10 innocent students of Gbaramatu kingdom arrested by the security agents.

“The meeting also condemn the move to scrap the Nigerian Maritime University approved by the previous administration with temporary site at Kurutie and call for the immediate takeoff of the university.

“The forum also urged the militant groups of the Niger Delta to cease further attacks on crude oil and gas facilities and embrace the dialogue offered by the Federal Government, the communique added. NAN


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