New Militant Group Demands Niger Delta Peoples Republic
A group, Movement for the Survival of Niger Delta Indigenes (MOSUNDI) has commenced agitation for self-determination and independence from the present Nigeria. The demand is coming on the heels of a similar recent agitation by the Lower Niger Congress (NLC) for the restructuring of Nigeria to allow each region of the country to be equal and to also control its resources for the betterment of their people. NLC is made up of people of the South-South and South-East geographical region.
MOSUNDI which in itself represents the six states of the Niger Delta (South-South) and part of the present Ondo State say its agitation for self-determination and independence is anchored on wicked marginalisation, deprivation and slavery by the major ethnic groups in Niger inspite of fact that Niger Delta produces the economic wealth of the nation.
In a letter to the Secretary-General of United Nations, Dr. Ban Ki-Moon and signed by its President, Prince Samuel Amaiwo, Chimezie Ezebunwo Timothy, Hon. Okan Obukohwo Okan and spokesman Godgift Edigbe, MOSUNDI seeks for a United Nations’ Supervised referendum for self-determination of the Niger Delta Peoples of Nigeria based on the UN charter, Articles, resolution, International Court of Justice decision and the Scotland referendum.
The agitation for the Niger Delta Peoples Republic according to the letter is predicated by political, Social-economic and religious discrimination of the Nigeria, Hausa and Yoruba against Niger Delta people.
It said, “from independence in 1960, the Niger Delta has been a well spring of Nigeria resource of revenue due to the huge oil deposit but the people have continued to wallow in abject poverty, environmental degradation due to economic, political, social and religious violence visited on them by the majority Hausa-Fulani/Yoruba’s Islamic elites, our people as a result of economic, political, social and religious violence visited on us, live in abject poverty without the minimum basic necessities of life, that is, water, sanitation, healthcare, education.”
“Oil exploitation and exploration and production in the Niger Delta has degraded our environment, devastated our fish stocks and our farmland, the principal sources and strength of micro-economic activities of our people health reducing life expectancy and also damaging physical infrastructure that the cost of living has sky rocketed beyond the reach of the people, of note in the oil industry which has created a ‘NEW NOVEAU RICH’ amongst the Hausa-Fulani/Yoruba elites that has wickedly and deliberately denied our people management jobs within an industry that is located at the heart of the Niger Delta Communities, the letter said.
The group noted that the people of the Niger Delta disputed the result of the 2006 population which was carried out by the Federal Government, reason being that the ploy was a measure to depopulate and reduce the number of people of the region which is being used in allocating resources in Nigeria. It queried why Nigerian Federal authority did not use water resources or the inclusion of transportation of Petroleum through VAT in determining resource allocation.
It said the proposed Niger Delta Peoples Republic is economically viable and would not depend solely on international hand-out from other countries except with respect to contributory shared Debt of the Federation of Nigeria. According to MOSUNDI, the proposed new country has would be politically stable, culturally compatible, geographical contiguous as well as religiously congruous.
It further accused the Hausa-Fulani and Yoruba of allotting 90% of the oil blocks in Niger Delta to themselves due to their vintage position at the central government level. It further remarked that the agitation for a republic of the people of Niger Delta has become a long struggle starting from the era of Willincks Commission due to the lop-sidedness of Nigeria Federalism and massive greed of the majority ethnic Nationalities and insisted that peaceful separation is the key to lasting peace in what it termed the faulty federation called Nigeria.