– Pan Niger Delta societies groups have harshly criticised RT. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, the minister of transport, for organising Niger Delta Summit
– The group described the summit as charade and accused the minister of trading out his own region — the Niger Delta region — for the benefit of the Northern region
The joint press statement issued on Wednesday, September 28, reads in part:
“Our attention has been drawn to a summit tagged, Niger Delta Summit, organised by the minister of transport of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, RT. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi. Ordinarily, we ought not to react negatively to any step that is intended to bring peace to our region if such action is embalmed with genuine desire for the development of the region.
We are, however, very worried as to the rationale behind the summit and what it intends to achieve when series of summits organised in the past are gathering dust in our national archive. The charade called Niger Delta Summit is another political jamborees orchestrated by Amaechi and his paymasters to divert the real cause of the struggle.
It is an indisputable fact that Amaechi has been adopted by the Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) as one of their own for trading out his own region, the Niger Delta region for the benefit of the Northern region. Amaechi, therefore, cannot represent the region in any capacity. He is a northerner residing in the Niger Delta region.
Is it not this same Amaechi brazenly told the world that the Niger Delta people did not deserve educational right in Nigeria? Which political gimmick Amaechi want to organise when in the real sense he is the main architect of the present conflagration in the region?
For the avoidance of doubt, we wish to quote verbatim a statement made by Alhaji Muhammad Ibrahim, the national publicity secretary of Arewa Consultative Forum (ACF) on January 26 this year.
He said: “We first took cognizance of your extreme love for the North when you courageously supported the then Jega-led INEC creation of additional 30,000 polling units, at a time that Southern Leaders were strongly against it for favouring the north against the south.
You boldly and openly criticised the then president, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan for halting it because it favoured the North, you gladdened our hearts when you announced the cancellation of the needless NIMASA proposed Maritime University in Gbaramatu Delta state, because of the plan of this government to upgrade the Nigerian Aviation College in Zaria to a university status.
We thank you so much and may God bless you richly for everything you have done for us. Sir we are glad to inform you that, we formally adopt you as one of our own…you have earned yourself a home in the north.”
To this end, Hon Rotimi Amaechi who is an adopted son of Arewa does not have the *locus standi to talk about peace, security and development in the Niger Delta.
He does not have the moral rectitude to organise that summit. It’s an insult to the people of Niger Delta for Amaechi who is the region’s number one enemy to be speaking for the people. The interest Amaechi has to serve is the interest of the north not the Niger Delta. Let him forget his summit.”
The statement was signed by Barr. Dickson Bekederemo, the president of Niger Delta Security Watch Organization of Nigeria; Fred Brisibe, the coordinator of Ijaw Human Rights Monitors; Comr, Austin Ozobo, the president of Ijaw People Development Initiative; Alaowei Cleric Esq., the national president of Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade (FHRACC).
Recall that the Chief Edwin Clark-led Pan Niger Delta Coastal States Stakeholders Consultative Forum also rejected the two-day summit in the region proposed by the federal government.
Meanwhile, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDJM) has bombed a major pipeline belonging to the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company . The attack was carried out on Thursday, September 29 on a delivery line in Delta state.
*In law, locus standi means the right to bring an action, to be heard in court, or to address the court on a matter before it