The Ijaw People Development Initiative has warned the President against using mercenaries to fight militants.
Recently the FG struck a deal worth $258 million with Saudi Arabia ‘Blackwater’ military contractor to help the Nigerian Armed Forces in fighting militants in the oil-rich Niger Delta region in the southern part of Nigeria.
In a joint statement signed by the group’s national president, Austin Ozobo and spokesperson, Daniel Ezekiel, the Ijaw People’s Development Initiative said that engaging $258 million Saudi mercenaries with the oil money obtained from the Niger Delta region would only “aggravate and teach aggrieved youth better warfare”.
Such a move, would also embolden the militant groups to acquire modern arms and ammunition to “fight back tomorrow” which will not kill the quest for self-determination by the Niger Delta youths.
“We want to reiterate that bombing Niger Delta communities or wasting to hire fighters to fight the Niger Delta Avengers will not stop Niger Delta quest for self-determination but rather, it will aggravate and teach aggrieved youths better warfare and how to go about acquiring modern equipment to fight back tomorrow.”
The group described the military contract as a waste of money and noted, that it is worrisome, that President Buhari would engage his Muslim allies to fight the people of the Niger Delta, especially when the region has fed the country for the past 58 years.
“Why not Nigeria soldiers? What happened to the 100 gunboats, 5 warships and 3 fighter jets earlier deployed to the creeks to fight Niger Delta Avengers, which turned into a venture of intimidating innocent people and invading communities?”