Asaba Declaration: NDSDM hails Southern Govs, seeks revisit of 1914 Amalgamation, 2014 Nat’l Conference
- Niger Delta Self Determination Movement NDSDM wishes to congratulate the governors of Southern Nigeria for their first ever meeting in Asaba convoked to take positions and decisions aimed at addressing the current inflammable crisis that is confronting the region and indeed the entire Nigeria. This convocation is an indication that our governors now appreciate and also realise that we have serious trouble and terror confronting us as peoples of Southern Nigeria.
- NDSDM commends points of action contained in the communique such as the ban on open grazing in the entire southern Nigeria which is a non-negotiable decision. Although this does not solve the problem totally, it is a step to arresting the escalation of violence and terror targeted at Southern Nigeria, so the governors are tasked to legislate on most of its points of action in their respective states as soon as possible.
- NDSDM however cautions that the governors should stop allowing themselves to sing the pity-party songs of old that have never worked for our region. The governors appear to be insensitive to the urgency of the moment when they began to call for state police and an upward review of the revenue Allocation to states. These issues are too petty when compared to what we are grappling with today.
- We are in a time when the lives of our police and other security agents are cut short by extremist and terrorist forces. There has to be a united people before you think of policing them. Therefore, the undermining of the major concerns by asking for mere increased revenue Allocation is insensitive and betrays the bars of the fundamental agitation for land and resources ownership, self-determination, regional autonomy and devolution of Power etc. Our Governors must take a stand with our ethnic nationalities to tell the Nigerian government and the International interests that the No-go-Area clause is no longer workable in the face of the current implosion and reality.
- NDSDM wishes to remind our Governors and the Federal government that there are two categories of agitations on the table now:
(a) those who are still demanding for Restructuring which the federal government and their encouragers continue to reject and those now pushing for outright secession and disintegration.
(b) The second category of agitators appear unwilling to discuss anything but a total break away from the current Nigeria. We must be cautious because the international community is already signalling the Federal Government to go home and resolve the issues with her people.
By this, NDSDM advises the Federal Government to shift away from the No-go-Area and indissolubility position to give room for a proper engagement to determine the future of our coexistence.
- NDSDM wishes to send a message to our Northern counterparts who feel that Southern governors and Leaders must consult or take permission from them before we can meet or take decisions that affect our region. The few of Northern Nigeria who think it is their way or no way should know their limits because we owe them no explanations in any decisions we make and will make whatsoever as they too do not consult us when they take their own stands or hold their own meetings.
- It is therefore important to put to the Southern Governors that they cannot achieve anything worthwhile in this process without being in full consultation and on same page with all the Ethnic nationalities in the three geo political regions of Southern Nigeria. The 17 Governors must fully represent the interests and positions of the Ethnic Nationalities of Southern Nigeria because our people will no longer accept any form of second class treatments by any group of persons or ethnic groups anywhere in Nigeria political and developmental decisions.
- We note there are many reports going back to the 1914 Amalgamation of the South and North of Nigeria under British rule, the last conference convened by President Goodluck Jonathan in 2014 named the 2014 National Conference, the NDSDM will support another effort at dialogue if the majority of our peoples and the Governors of Southern Nigeria want another Discussion, but we are persuaded to state that any discussion if it is to be meaningful should include a referendum for our peoples to decide our future.
Convener, Niger Delta Self Determination Movement (NDSDM)