The National President of Niger Delta Advocate, a socio-political pressure group of the Niger Delta people, Hon. Dr Liege-Lord Keston Okoro Mohammed Al-Amin has warned proponents of the republic of Biafra to desist from listing the Niger Delta area particularly Delta State as part of Biafra.
Hon Keston Al-Amin who stated this while addressing newsmen in a statement signed by its National Spokesman, Comrade Tiemo B. Pumokumo, said that what the people of the state desire most is restructuring and devolution of power to the constituent units instead of separatist agitations.
The former member of the Delta State House of Assembly also decried the continued listing of the Niger Delta states as part of Biafra particularly by a group that styled itself as the Indigenous Peoples of the Niger Delta, (IPND).
He, however, stressed that the Mid-west region, for instance, was big enough to be a republic of her own instead of being annexed to Biafra.
He said, “These agitations should be well guided not to hurt the sensibilities of others. We in the Niger Delta are not part of Biafra and will never be. Furthermore, separation is not all about war. There are peaceful aspects to separation which can be legally achieved through a referendum.
‘’I chanced on a document recently which disclosed that in 1776, the USA split from the UK, the heavens did not fall; In 1830 Belgium separated from the Netherlands and they are living well as separate nations; In 1965, Singapore split off from Malaysia and the former relationship has no impact on the present; in 2002, East Timor got split off from Indonesia; In 1921, Ireland split off from the United Kingdom, and (possibly in the future) there will be secession of Scotland.
‘’In 1944, Iceland split from Denmark with remarkable ease without resorting to violence and mindless killing of the citizens to drive home their point; In 1905 Norway split from Denmark; In 1905, Norway and Sweden also peacefully split ways. One got the car, the other got the kids etc.
“Other examples abound. I wonder why Nigeria that became one in 1914 cannot part ways if that is what will guarantee peace in Nigeria. But in all the agitations, nobody should force the Niger Delta into any unwanted union’’, he added.
Hon Al-Amin noted that in the event of any break-up in Nigeria, we shall have no choice but to make a resolute declaration of the Sovereign State Of the Niger Delta Republic (SSNDR).
‘’On a second thought at least the Midwest region that was established by the overwhelming 100% votes of the Urhobos in 1963 comprising of Delta and Edo States, cannot be part of Biafra as that would amount to another form of colonialism with unimaginable implications’’, he said.
According to Keston Okoro Al-Almin, the ‘’Psuedo-neo-suicide-indigenous-colonialists that took over the reign of our dear Nascent Nation known as Nigeria and obviously destroyed it to its very fabric through greed would invest same fate on our people and so, the Niger Delta people should never contemplate and cannot be part of such arrangement which is not the nation our forefathers dreamt of.
‘’It’s obvious that what we have today is a country based on unity by force founded on injustice, inequalities, lack of fairness imposed upon us by the then military cabal and that fact justify the call for restructuring as a matter of urgency as the basis to resolve the so many socio-economic and socio-political challenges facing her today, the Niger Delta should not and must not surrender to another form of forced unity with Biafra people.
‘’Let me state it loud and clear that no state of the Niger Delta region can be forced into any union under any guise, not even Biafra. We totally support the agitation for the restructuring of Nigeria. We are better together as one nation but if the union cannot support the wellbeing of our people and the need arises for separate nations to be created, the Niger Delta can stand on its own and cannot be part of Biafra.
“The least we can tolerate is the Midwest republic. But we are not interested in dividing Nigeria. Let us restructure the country into manageable units to bring competitiveness into the quest for development and progress. The federating units will develop at their pace and healthy competition would arise between the zones to bring the best out of our people.
‘’We believe in one Nigeria but not at the expense of the well being of our people. We cannot run away from restructuring forever. The current arrangement does not favour our people. We must restructure and make Nigeria work for a better, fair and equitable distribution of our wealth. The Niger Delta cannot be part of Biafra and Nigeria must restructure for peace and progress in Nigeria.’’