2011:Jonathan, IBB tear Niger Delta Apart

DESPITE the supposedly superficial support by the governors and
some stakeholders of the South-South geo-political zone, for the
presidential project of President Goodluck Jonathan, there is a
simmering air of political uncertainty in the zone.

A cocktail of leaders, representatives of community-based and
active social formations in the zone, rose from a meeting in the
early hours of Tuesday morning, with a clear warning to the ruling
Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in respect of President Jonathan.

The meeting which took off the ground late on Monday night, was
held within the Greater Port Harcourt City, the Rivers State capital.
The meeting also attracted representatives of the South-South
Peoples Assembly (SSPA), a political pressure group that was
galvanized by Chief Raymond Dokpesi, for the Dr. Peter Odili
2007, presidential project.

It was hosted by the Niger Delta Patriotic Front (NDPF), a radical
political group of activists and social formations in the oil and gas
region.

The meeting warned the PDP against foisting President Jonathan,
on the party in breach of the power sharing pact between the North
and the South. According to them, former President Olusegun
Obasanjo is desperately pushing for Jonathan to remain for selfish
reasons.

Spokesperson for the NDPF, Mr. Ben Didi, told Akanimoreports
that Obasanjo does not want the emergence of a strong Nigerian
leader who would probe his administration’s “dirty deals and war
crimes in the Niger Delta. We will frustrate their plans”.

The Port Harcourt meeting, according to Didi, resolved to work for
the former military ruler, Ibrahim Babangida, in a bid to safeguard
the interest of the oil and gas region.

Checks by our correspondents tend to indicate that political foot
soldiers of the former military ruler have invaded much of the oil-
bearing communities in the Ijaw axis of the Niger Delta.

Besides some governors and PDP stalwarts who are alleged to be
pulling the strings for Babangida backstage, the NDPF is said to be
galvanizing a flurry of grassroots initiatives.

Speaking in a telephone interview later on Tuesday, Didi said: “As
a country, we live in a decisive moment in our 50 years history.
And, as far as the 2011 general election is concerned, NDPF is of
the view that great decision have to be made as to whether Nigeria
moves forward into a new era of cooperation and right human
relations, or whether the plundering circles continue to maintain
control”.

According to him, ‘the NDPF is taking this message to the
electorate because the decision has to be made by citizens, and
not institutional and governmental powers’.

It was, however, gathered that grassroots initiatives are working to
mobilize citizens’ opinion on a wide range of issues. Their effort
tends to find its source of power in the recognition of the value of
any individual and oneness of the Nigeria people.

Resource control activist, Mr. Dan Anderson, who attended the
Port Harcourt meeting says they are working for Babangida to
return to active presence in Aso Rock to enable him prepare the
people of the Niger Delta for the next step in their evolution.

“We have rigorously examined our (Niger Delta) desires and
aspirations. As a politico-economic bloc that lays the golden egg
for Nigeria, we still lack the basic necessities of life. Our land and
water are still bering despoiled by the extractive industry”, he said.

Also speaking, Spokesperson for Egbema Movement for Justice
(EMJ), a community group in Edo State, Mr. Robinson Uroupa, said
the global financial crises which was precipitated two years ago
continues to cause hardships to the Nigeria people.

“The suffering which this is causing as well as the unjust
distribution of financial resources in Nigeria, is a source of deep
concern to patriots”, the Egbema group spokesperson said.

As the battle for the PDP presidential ticket rages, NDPF is
insisting that what the decision of the Niger Delta will be in regard
to the struggle between right human relations and selfish
materialism is not yet certain.

“This is not the time for blind and narrow sentiment. There is need
for every thinking citizen of goodwill, to contribute to the outcome
that will serve the common good, NDPF said.

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