Asaba — Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa and kinsmen of ex-militant leader, Chief Government Ekemuekpolo alias Tompolo, have sent passionate appeal to the Niger Delta Avengers to rescind their earlier decision to a ceasefire.
The appeal came on the backdrop of a statement issued by the militant group weekend that it has suspended its decision to stay hostilities and pave way for amicable negotiations with the federal government as it renounced the Pan Delta Forum (PANDEF), an umbrella platform in the region interfacing with the federal authorities led by elder statesman, Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark.
The NDA had also condemned the behind-the-scene involvement seemingly overbearing influences of Tompolo on the PANDEF and threatened to resume further attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta.
But Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu on Monday in Asaba noted that Deltans will lose more if the group make good their latest threat to withdraw from further cooperation with the federal government to resume massive attacks on oil facilities.
"We passionately appeal to the Niger Delta Avengers not to resume hostilities, because Deltans will be the greatest losers. We are barely recovering from the effect of previous attacks and it is our honest appeal that they still give peace a chance by allowing for peaceful engagements with the Federal Government and other stakeholders.
"This appeal for peace remains imperative, because without the atmosphere of peace, no meaningful negotiations and development can take place, adding "resumption of hostilities will not be in the interest of our people but a major set back to the plans and aspirations of the state.
The governor said his administration has continued to appreciate "our brothers in the struggle" for their continued patience and cooperation with the Federal Government on ways to attend to the various issues being raised by the group.
"As a state, we have made several interventions to make life more meaningful for oil bearing communities especially in the area of road construction in the creeks and without the enabling peace we cannot progress in that direction." he said.
Also worried by the consequences of the planned resumption of hostilities, Chairmen of Gbaramatu communities, kinsmen of Tompolo have begged the aggrieved NDA to maintain the peace and halt plans to resume hostilities in the region, imploring the militant group to adopt dialogue.
The Chairman of Kokodiagbene Community, Gbararmatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, on behalf of the Chairmen of Gbararmatu Communities lauded the NDA for the ceasefire declared months ago and urged that it should be sustained no matter the provocation.
"We want to appeal to the Niger Delta Avengers to give peace a chance and adopt dialogue because in most cases your actions negatively affect our environment and image of the region", Comrade Mulade pleaded.
They however implored the Federal Government to fulfill its promises to the economy life base of the country, particularly the good and peace loving people of the oil rich Niger Delta