A coalition of ex-militant leaders from the Niger Delta region have given conditions for a peaceful co-existence in the country, threatening to resist any attempt to shift the rescheduled the general election again.
“We individually, and collectively on behalf of our communities and people solemnly sign this Declaration and also put the country on notice that these demands are the only conditions for peace in the Niger Delta and the continued peace of Nigeria as well as mutual and equitable enjoyment and benefit from the resources in the Niger Delta”, the group declared in a statement on Tuesday.
The statement was signed by eleven former agitators including ‘Gen’ Boni (Burutu LGA); Smart Amola (a.k.a Gentle) Warri South West; Francis Muturu (a.k.a Gen Aboy); Friday Edema (a.k.a Ijagun 1); Alfred Aniretan (a.k.a Field Marshal); Sunday Amona (a.k.a Capone) Gen. King Jerry; Gen. Saturday Emmanuel; Gen. Isie Ologbo; Commander Peter Asule (a.k.a Gen. Atseluwa); and Commander Mike Edesemi (a.k.a Gen. Blackman).
The group also said it was giving the “non-negotiable conditions for peace and continued co-existence after considering the state of the nation, the Niger Delta.
The group insisted that elections must hold on March 28th and April 11th 2015 as currently announced saying that it reject any further cancellation, postponement or rescheduling.
They also expressed their displeasure towards the proposed military deployment and intervention in the political and electoral process adding; “We hail and adopt the decision of the Judiciary that the Armed Forces have no role in elections and will strongly resist any participation of the Armed Forces in elections.”
“We insist that the elections must be credible, free and fair. We insist that for this to happen, the elections must hold on March 28th and April 11th, and the Armed Forces must be excluded.”
“We demand that the INEC and its Chairman be independent and be allowed to do their work free from pressure from the Armed Forces or the Federal Government. We insist that their preparation and plan for the election be allowed to materialise including tools and requirements for the elections.”
“We reject and deny any pronouncements that there will be breakdown of law and order or mayhem in the Niger Delta if any particular candidate is not returned as victorious in the elections.”
“We assure and promise that the Niger Delta will be peaceful and accept the result of transparent, credible, free and fair elections that will occur on March 28th and April 11th.”
“We condemn any statements or plans that convey the Niger Delta as being undemocratic or supporting one particular candidate exclusively.”
“We reiterate that citizens of the Niger Delta in exercise of their Constitutional rights may support any party or candidate of their choice in a peaceful manner, and assure their safety and security in this choice and in the aftermath of the elections.”
“We inform that, it is the failure to hold transparent, credible, free and fair elections on March 28th and April 11th 2015 that may lead to chaos, insecurity and problems in the Niger Delta.”
“We further inform that any attempt to deploy soldiers, or intimidate and harass citizens in the Niger Delta prior to, during and after the elections will be strongly resisted and may break the peace of the land.”