In what is thought to be a veiled threat to the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB), the Niger Delta Congress (NDC) has said “all actions by secessionist groups to annex the region shall and will be resisted” .
IPOB’s map of its proposed Republic of Biafra includes the six states of the Niger Delta — Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River, Edo, Delta and Rivers.
The Bight of Biafra — which the name is derived from — is off the coast of Niger Delta.
In a communique issued at the end of its stakeholders meeting in Port Harcourt on Saturday, the NDC called on Niger Delta governors to set up a regional security and intelligence outfit “to protect the lives and properties of the people of the Niger Delta region”.
The group, a socio-political organisation of ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta established in 2019, also called for a total overhaul of the 1999 constitution to address “the aspirations of the people”.
NDC said will convene a “Niger Delta Peoples Conference” in October 2021 to address several issues affecting the people of the region, and where “major decisions” on the future of the region “within or without the Nigerian federation” will be taken.
There has been a campaign of attacks on police stations and federal government buildings in the south-east and parts of the south-south.
They are linked to IPOB, but the organisation has denied any involvement.
Here is the full text of the communique.
COMMUNIQUE RELEASED AT THE CONCLUSION OF THE NIGER DELTA CONGRESS EXTRAORDINARY STAKEHOLDERS MEETING OF REPRESENTATIVES OF ALL ETHNIC NATIONALITIES OF THE NIGER DELTA, IN PORT HARCOURT, RIVERS STATE, ON SATURDAY 15TH MAY, 2021
Representatives of the ethnic nationalities of the Niger Delta at an extraordinary meeting held in Port Harcourt today, 15th May 2021, deliberated on existential issues affecting the Niger Delta peoples and the Nigerian federation in general. The issues discussed at the meeting included the creeping secessionist attacks, terror attacks, and heightened insecurity in the Niger Delta. Also discussed was the decades long struggle of the people for economic and political autonomy, the unity of the Niger Delta, and other sundry issues. On conclusion of the meeting, the following were resolved:
- That the Niger Delta Congress (NDC) be adopted as a vehicle to drive the unification of the economic and political agitations of the Niger Delta peoples going forward;
- That the governors of the six states of the Niger Delta (Edo, Delta, Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, and Cross River) should as a matter of urgency setup a regional security and intelligence outfit to protect the lives and properties of the people of the Niger Delta region;
- That the Niger Delta Congress shall convene a Niger Delta Peoples Conference to be held in October 2021 to address several issues affecting the people of the region, and where major decisions on the future of the region within or without the Nigerian federation will be taken;
- That the Niger Delta region is an autonomous region comprising of Indigenous nationalities, and hence all actions by secessionist groups to annex the region shall and will be resisted;
- That all stakeholders should actively take part in the ongoing review of the 1999 Nigerian constitution. However, the Niger Delta Congress proposes a complete overhaul of the 1999 constitution as amended to reflect the wishes, yearnings, and aspirations of the people.
Signed on behalf of all ethnic representatives:
Prof. Ebiegberi Joe Alagoa – Bayelsa
Prof. Olu Andah Wai-Ogosu – Rivers
Engr. Ben Edenseting – Akwa Ibom
Comr. Kingsley Ohens – Edo
Comr. Enujeke Ndidi Enujeke – Delta
Comr. Keme Opia – Bayelsa
Comr. Weyinmi Agbateyinniro – Delta
Comr. Elvis Enyam – Cross River
Comr. Anthony Idoko – Cross River
Nubari Saatah – Niger Delta Congress (NDC)