Afenifere Response to Arewa

May 28, 2009.



Afenifere Renewal Group (ARG) is not in the least surprised that the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF), on the eve of the celebration of 10th anniversary of “democracy” in Nigeria, chose to throw its weight behind
the current murderous operations going on in the Niger Delta under the guise of fighting militants in the region.

The ACF has behaved true to type by declaring that the operations, which by media reports have led to killings of innocent people including women and children, were the appropriate response any responsible government would take to restore law and order in the area.
The ACF statement, signed by Anthony Sani, said it would amount to irresponsibility on the part of the Federal Government if it folded its arms and watched some “few misguided elements” holding the nation to
While we agree with the ACF that a responsible government should maintain law and order and that criminalities must be checked, it is quite apposite to define responsibility and criminality in the proper
ARG is of the view that no responsible state would have allowed the Niger Delta situation to degenerate into this level before addressing the deplorable conditions of the oil-bearing communities. For 50years, the Nigerian rogue state exploited the resources of the Niger Delta, most of which went into profligacy and corruption. The former Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Mallam Nuhu Ribadu, recently told the United States Congressional Committee that over $400billion have been stolen by government officials from 1960
till date. Most of these funds come from the Niger Delta. Many of the people responsible for these criminal thefts are the movers and shakers of the “responsible government” that is now waging war against women
and children to flush out militants. A former Governor of Jigawa State who was charged to court for stealing N17b in one day (allocations from crude oil sales) is today a member of the Anti-Corruption Committee in the Senate. A lot of his colleagues already charged by the EFCC for one mind-boggling graft or the other are having the full protection of the State and are not being treated like criminals.
While we frown at kidnappings, blow-ups and other violence-related activities, we insist that the Nigerian irresponsible state created conditions for those activities to flourish and it is its
responsibility to address these issues.
We reject any attempt to annihilate the Niger Delta people in what the ACF has called “collateral damages” more so when the Nigerian state has never been known to deploy tanks, planes and bombs to check the
activities of those who have over the years engaged in the criminal killings of other Nigerians in different parts of the North, the latest being the recent Jos mayhem.
We do not have it on record that the ACF ever called for military action against these “criminals” in the North even when those killed during one of the serial riots in the North would have been more than all the causalities of the “criminals” in the Niger Delta.
We strongly condemn the position of the ACF and reiterate our position that the military operations be called off immediately as it can’t solve the Niger Delta crisis. Over 1million Igbo were killed over Biafra; today, there are new agitators for the same cause.
Short of wiping out the 20 million of the Niger Delta as suggested by "Honourable” Bala Ibn Na’Allah (he even bears God’s name), it is givingbread and not bomb to the Niger Delta that will solve the problem there.
In solidarity with the anguished people of Niger Delta who are facing death and displacement, we call on all patriotic Nigerians to observe May 29, 2009 as a MOURNING DAY, not DEMOCRACY DAY and pray for the Niger Delta.
‘Yinka Odumakin,
National Publicity Secretary, ARG.

"First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a communist;
Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a socialist;
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a trade unionist;
Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out--
because I was not a Jew;
Then they came for me--
and there was no one left to speak out for me".

- Pastor Martin Niemöller


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