Ijaw youths under the umbrella of Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, on Monday strongly advised the Federal Government against deploying troops, fighter jets and other military hardware to the Niger Delta region to flush out militants.
The IYC said unlike Sambisa Forest in the Northeast, which provides safe haven for Boko Haram Terrorists from military onslaught, the militants have no permanent location in the creeks of the Niger Delta.
These positions formed part of the resolutions of the youths after their meeting in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
It would be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari had while speaking late Saturday night at a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan during the 6th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), which recently ended in Nairobi, Kenya, advised Niger Delta militants to accept his government’s offer of dialogue or get Boko Haram treatment.
The Boko Haram Terrorists have been put on the back foot since President Buhari assumed office over a year ago with the Nigerian military unleashing its fury on the sect and in the process, claiming “technical victory” over the world’s deadliest terrorist organization.
But the IYC in a communique signed by the its President, Mr. Udengs Eradiri and Spokesman, Mr. Eric Omare, said militants claiming responsibility for bombings of oil installations were adopting guerrilla tactics to carry out their criminal acts.
It also said instead of resorting to military option, the security agencies should adopt intelligence gathering to forestall attacks and arrest militants.
IYC said: “We strongly advise against this option. It is not and can never be a solution to Niger Delta quest for better deal. Those advising military option are enemies of your government, Niger Deltans and the people of Nigeria.
“In the first place, the Niger Delta militants that have claimed responsibility for attacks on oil facilities are not stationed in any particular place like Boko-Haram in Sambisa forest. There is no Sambisa forest in the Niger Delta region where the military can go and confront insurgents.
“Those carrying out these attacks have adopted a guerilla strategy; hence the solution is for the relevant security to deepen intelligence gathering by working with local communities and not full scale military onslaught on the communities and people.
“Any full scale military action in the Niger Delta would only succeed in killing innocent people and destruction of communities that are also victims of the militancy. It is worthy to note that Gbaramatu Kingdom that the military has been consistently harassing is not the headquarters of any of the militant groups.
“The Gbaramatu people are peaceful loving Ijaw people and the military must stop the consistent invasion of Gbaramatu or any other Ijaw community”.