NIGER DELTANS IN THE UNITED KINGDOM PLEAD WITH PRIME TONY BLAIR FOR INTERVENTION WITH PRESIDENT OLUSEGUN OBASANJO TO PREVENT STATE OF EMERGENCY IN BAYELSA STATE
C/o Eagle House, 106A Denmark Hill, London SE5 8RX
Tel: 0171 237 6774, 0171 924 3676 Fax: 0171 274 1255
The Rt. Hon. Tony Blair MP
10 Downing Street
20 NOVEMBER 1999
NIGER DELTA TAKES A UNITED STAND FOR SELF DETERMINATION AND ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
We the people of the Niger Delta of Nigeria resident in
the United Kingdom having come together to rue the plight of our
people, have decided to write and intimate you about the pathetic situation
and inhuman conditions in which we have been concerned in our own country
Nigeria. As law abiding people we are surprised that our problems are caused
by the combined might of successive Federal Governments in Nigeria and
the consortium of various Oil Companies particularly the
Anglo-Dutch Shell, Chevron, Mobil, Elf and Total.
We are aware that your government professes an ethical foreign policy and would not suffer governments that practice draconian, inhuman and ungodly policies. This is why we are appealing to you to use your good offices to impress it on the Chief Olusegun Obasanjo government in Nigeria to desist from the planned imposition of a STATE OF EMERGENCY on the area. The Nigerian government plans to use this state of emergency to launch a military assault to commit genocide on the long-suffering and neglected people of the Niger Delta area of Nigeria.
For the avoidance of any doubts, we would like to state
categorically that we stand irrevocably behind the series of declarations
by our compatriots on the grounds in the Niger Delta:
The Kaiama Declaration
The Ogoni Bill of Rights
The Aklaka Declaration
The Warri Accord
The Ikwere Declaration
The Road to Self Determination by the Coalition for Self Determination
The Bill of Rights of Oron People and
The Resolution of the First Urhobo Economic Summit
(SEE PAGES 14 to 17 of the SURVIVAL newspaper of August 1999, Issue Number 001. Attached)
Furthermore, we would like to condemn in totality the government's so-called Niger Delta Development Commission bill, which it is parading as itâ€™s blueprint for developing the Niger Delta area. This bill is froth with the danger of further ecological devastation and the people were never consulted as to what they really want in the first place. We see this NDDC bill as another deceit of the people as successive Governments since independence have done in the past. We have seen this before. It is in their character of internal colonisation of our people and resources.
We are calling on the oil companies to vacate the Niger Delta until such a time that they can agree to practice oil exploration as done in the civilised parts of the world. Similarly, we call on the Chief Obasanjo government to withdraw its Army of occupation from the Niger Delta area without further ado. Chief Obasanjo should desist as well from harassing duly elected governors from the area as if they are his â€œwhipping boys."
Our people have asked for the control of the resources from our area. This is against the backdrop of total neglect of the area as if it is not a part of Nigeria while other areas are developed with these resources. We believe that the control of our resources is our fundamental human rights and it is a fair and legitimate demand to make.
The oil companies must stop further supply of mercenaries and training of the Nigerian Army and Police Special Killer Squads under the guise of maintaining LAW AND ORDER in the Niger Delta. This tactics was extensively used in South America with disastrous consequences for the companies and governments of those countries. It is scandalous to say the least that these companies with active collaboration from the Federal Government of Nigeria promote ethnic discord among the people of the Niger Delta in order for them to have the excuse to militarily "pacify" them.
The imbalance in Nigeria is too much against the Niger Delta people. We believe that only a renegotiated Federal Republic through the auspices of a SOVEREIGN NATIONAL CONFERENCE (SNC) of all Nigerian Nationalities, can guarantee justice, equality, peace, progress and unity in Nigeria.
Please sir, save our soul. Our people are faced with annihilation for the sake of oil. This is a travesty of Democracy and good governance.
Thank you sir for your usual co-operation.
Signed for and on behalf of Niger Delta People in the UK:
1 IJAW PEOPLEâ€™S ASSOCIATION
2 SOLIDARITY MOVEMENT OF SOUTHERN MINORITIES OF NIGERIA (SMSMN)
3 MOVEMENT OF THE SURVIVAL OF OGONI PEOPLE (MOSOP) UK
4 URHOBO PEOPLE'S ASSEMBLY
5 ORON PEOPLEâ€™S MOVEMENT
6 NIGER DELTA WOMEN FOR JUSTICE
7 AKWA ESOP IMAISONG IBIBIO
8 EDO OKPAMAKHIN
9 THE NIGER DELTA PEOPLE MOVEMENT FOR SELF DETERMINATION AND
10 CHICOCO MOVEMENT
11 WOMEN OF NIGERIA INTERNATIONAL
CC: 1 CHIEF OLUSEGUN OBASANJO, PRESIDENT OF THE FEDERAL
NIGERIA C/O THE HIGH COMMISSIONER OF NIGERIA IN THE UNITED KINGDOM.
2 THE MANAGING DIRECTOR, SHELL INTERNATIONAL, C/O SHELL'S MEX
OFFICE, THE STRAND LONDON UK.