Militant Group Promises End to Hostage-Taking, Violence
26 Aug 2006
Author: Jimitota Onoyume
PEACE appears imminent in the Niger Delta with militant groups promising to halt hostage taking and other forms of criminalities. Appealing for cease fire in the region few hours after some expatriates were taken hostage in Port Harcourt at Saipem, a group, Movement of The Niger Delta People, which had claimed responsibility for the abduction of a German, Guido Schiffarth who recently breath the air of freedom, said in an online statement yesterday that it had become obvious that violence was no longer the way out of the woods for the region.
The statement signed by one Preye Amazo decried the myriads of criminalities in the region and said it was high time youths embraced the option of peace and dialogue for genuine development to begin to take place. They also urged companies in the region threatening to pull out to reconsider their position as the atmosphere would now be calm for their operations.
On the bill seeking the legitimization of military intervention in the region to enforce peace before the national assembly, they appealed to the federal government to withdraw it as military approach was not a reliable option. They also enjoined soldiers already deployed to the region to be human friendly while discharging their duties.
The ten point release written completely in capital letters further urged the federal government to speed up the trial of impeached governor D.S.P. Alamiesiegha and Asari Dokubo who are currently in detention. It reads in part;
"The Movement of The Niger Delta People (MONDP) has noted with great concern, the escalating spate of violence which has rocked the Niger Delta in the recent weeks.
"This situation has raised disturbing doubts over our initial strategy to bring national and international attention to our struggle for the betterment of the Niger Delta and the release of our two leaders Alhaji Mujahid Asari Dokubo and Chief Diepreye Solomon Peter Alamieyeseigha.
"After due consultations with several important stake holders, comprehensive examination of opinions by interest groups including the Group of Nobel Laureates which visited the Niger Delta area, and the consideration of several probing questions by some well respected members of the international media, we have carried out a critical re-appraisal of our actions and initiatives and subsequently arrived at the following decisions:
*That the Movement of the Niger Delta Peoples wants peace to reign in the Niger Delta area and will do every thing within its powers to ensure that peace is achieved in the Niger Delta area.
*That the Movement of the Niger Delta People has resolved to cease all actions which will be interpreted correctly or otherwise as hostile or inimical to the process of achieving peace in the Niger delta area, with immediate effect
*That the movement of the Niger Delta People Supports all groups and efforts geared towards the achievement of peace in the Niger Delta Area
*That the Movement of the Niger Delta People hereby calls on all other groups in the struggle to adopt the option of dialogue and discussion as a means of negotiation instead of the hostage taking method which has now been hijacked to accomplish some other counter-productive interests and as thus resulted in the violence and crises witnessed in the Niger delta area recently.