The Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, has warned the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government against its plan to deploy troops under the Operation Crocodile Tears to the Niger Delta region.
IYC said that by deploying troops to the oil rich region, the Buhari-led Federal Government plans to colonise and cause chaos in the oil rich region.
Warning that people of Niger Delta will resist any military exercise in the region, IYC said the Federal Government should rather send bulldozers to create development in the creeks and not the Military.
President of the body, Roland Oweilaemi Pereotubo, in a statement sent to DAILY POST by his Media Aide, Alaowei Cleric said military drill in the Southern part of the country is not the panacea to agitation in the region.
Pereotubo said rather than embark on Military drill, Buhari should employ the strategy of negotiation as a means of resolving agitations.
He said, “The plan by the Nigerian armed forces to extend its ongoing military drill in the South East to the South South and South West is a declaration of war against defenceless Southern Nigerians. The so-called ill-conceived military exercise which has already gotten international condemnations, if carried out in the peaceful Niger Delta region, will be seen as an act of belligerent against hapless Nigerians. Nothing can justify the military to carry out such provocative exercise, especially now that the Federal Government has started implementing its promises to the people.”
Pereotubo viewed the exercise as a ploy by the Government to, “colonise the people of Southern Nigeria through the instrumentalities of the nation’s military bellipotent in order to establish a theocratic state.”
He said, “No Southern part of the country is in need of a destructive military drill which consequences is pain and anguish. To us, the plan is to cause chaos in the Southern States; declare state of emergency and apparently send the northern military warlords to colonise us in the name of interim military administration in the troubled States.
Niger Delta people will resist any attempt to cause crisis in the region. We don’t need military drill. What we want is development. Let the Government send bulldozers to the creeks to carry out developmental projects.
“The money that the military want to waste in this fruitless exercise should be channeled on developmental projects in the region. No previous military exercise has ever yielded any good result apart from causing mayhem on the people. We do not expect any good thing to come out from this planned exercise. It will only end up causing an untold havoc on the lives and property in the region.”
Pereotubo warned that no amount of military drill will make the people to give up their agitations.
Maintaining that restructuring remains the solution to Nigeria’s problems, IYC said, “The solution to the agitations in Southern Nigeria is restructuring, true federalism and self-determination in line with international best practices. Previous Governments had adopted military approach to address the Niger Delta crisis but they all failed.
“President Buhari cannot win the battle by the trigger. Dialogue remains the best option to end all forms of agitations in Southern Nigeria. The Federal Government will be inflicting a devastating havoc on the nation’s crawling economy should it allows the military to carry out its belligerent drill in region.
“If any part of this country requires military drill, it is the North East. Let the military carry out its drill in the Lake Chad Basin where Boko Haram sects have killed and chased out oil workers at ease from their drilling sites.
“The major threats to national security are the Boko Haram sects and the murderous Fulani herdsmen. While the military was quick to illegally and unconstitutionally declare armless IPOB members as terrorists for peacefully agitating for their rights, it becomes so dumb and voiceless to the gruesome genocide being carried out by the killer Fulani herdsmen against Nigerians.
”President Buhari should direct his war-mongering and bloodthirsty armed forces to carry out their military exercise in places the herdsmen have being massacring Nigerians without provocation. These dangerous human species have being moving with dangerous weapons in the name of self-defense with which they have being using to commit genocide in Nigeria with impunity.
“In spite of the atrocities this dangerous group who have been declared as the number three most dangerous terrorists Organisation in the world, has committed against human race in Nigeria, the FG has not declared them as a terrorist group in Nigeria.
“The world should not give deaf ears to the recent happenings in Nigeria. The crisis in the land is no longer an internal affairs of the Country. Nigeria needs an urgent regional intervention to save the Country from the imminent precipice. While the dust of insurgency caused by the military in the South Eastern part of the Country is barely coming down, the Government is regrettably planning another military drill in the other Southern regions.”
Pereotubo also called on world bodies to prevail on Buhari to suspend the Military exercise in the Southern part of the country.