Activist and convener of the Niger Delta Self Determination Movement (NDSDM) Annkio Briggs speaks about her quest for resource control and self determination within Nigerian framework in Lagos, on November 20, 2015. Niger Delta activist Annkio Briggs has advocated for the right of indigenous peoples of the Niger Delta to self determination and resources control, to manage its affairs and address the injustice which the region has suffered over the years. AFP PHOTO / PIUS UTOMI EKPEI (Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP/Getty Images)
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Leaders of the Niger Delta region have issued a three-month ultimatum to the Federal Government to restructure the country and to convene national dialogue.

They said the dialogue must comprise representatives of all ethnic groups to chart a new course for the country.

The demand was contained in a communique issued at the end of a South-South zonal conference with a theme, “Restructuring: imperatives for sustainable development, unity and security” held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on Friday.

They said there was an urgent need for the devolution of powers to the states and vowed to resist oppressive and repressive tendencies against the Niger Delta region and its people.

They appealed to the Federal Government to stop selling their resources to the Chinese and others.

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The stakeholders, who came from the nine states of the region, threatened that if nothing happened after the ultimatum, the Niger Delta people would commence the process to actualise their freedom.

The communique was read by prominent Niger Delta activist and President of Agape Birthrights development Initiative, Ms. Ann Kio-Brigss.

The communique said: “We the people of the Niger Delta hereby give the Government of Nigeria a three months window, within which to cordially address our concerns towards re-federalizing the polity, by convening a national dialogue of the representatives of the ethnic groups in Nigeria to chart a new course for the country.

“At the expiration of this three months window, we the people of the Niger Delta will commence the process that will guarantee our freedom and progress.

“Our people should mobilize all human resources to see that fiscal federalism and devolution of powers are includes in the constitution. There should be internal justice amongst us- charity begins at home.

“We the people of the Niger Delta hereby reaffirm their commonality, unity and oneness despite our multi-ethnic diversities.

“The Niger Delta people who are the breadwinners of Nigeria, demand to be heard and fairly, treated with equity by the oppressive Nigerian State, and by extension, the insensitive Nigerian political class, as the only basis for peaceful co-existence.

“We the people of the Niger Delta demand restructuring, with the states as the federating units and devolution of more powers to the states

“We the ethnic nationalities of the south-south, affirm the right of peoples to self-determination and to fully control their resource to stop and put an end to further deprivation and despoliation of their environment which they have suffered in the last 60 years.

“The people of the Niger Delta will take all lawful measures to develop an agenda for freedom and liberation and development of the region.

“The Niger Delta ethnic nationalities hereby demand that the governors of the South-South immediately set up security outfits in their respective states and network with each other in the region to protect our territories against terrorists, criminals, land grabbers and other criminals who often operate as bandits and kidnappers.

“Niger Deltans demand that the Governors of the South-South region immediately set up community based defence forces in all Local Government Areas of the South-South.

“The ethnic nationalities of the Niger Delta demand the Federal Government of Nigeria to immediately discontinue the selective appointments, posting and deployment of mainly non- middle-belt and Southern Nigerian security officials to the Niger Delta to oppression of our people.

“The Niger Delta demands equal representation, control and headship of all relevant security and military organizations in the country. The Niger Delta demands and express the desire for a provision in the Nigerian constitution for the exercise of the inalienable right to self- determination through a referendum in line with international laws.

“The Niger Delta demands total ownership rights to lands, natural resources, seas and waters by communities wherever such are located in the region.

“The Niger Delta has resolved to put an end to all oppressive and repressive tendencies by the Nigerian State against our region and warns that we shall no longer tolerate same from other nationalities.

“The Niger Delta people demand immediate environmental remediation and clean-up of Niger-Delta which has been deliberately devastated by crude oil exploration and exploitation. The Niger Delta governors should as a matter of extreme urgency take the issue of Food Security as to prevent the starvation of our people in the event of any food blockade.

“The Niger Delta Governors are to ensure protection of the flora/fauna and take interest in general environmental protection, including endowments above or beneath the soil for sustainable development.

“The Niger Delta people demand that the federal government desists from selling out our resources to the Chinese or Sukuk promoting countries, to secure any project.

“The Niger Delta People demand their enjoyment of the right to own and bear arms for selfdefence as law-abiding citizens. The selective grant of firearms licences is hereby condemned and denounced. This is necessary considering the present state of insecurity in Nigeria.

“The people of Niger Delta demand the establishment of State Police in their respective states.”

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