Nathan Tamarapreye, Yenagoa
The Movement for the Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta (MOSIEND) on Thursday urged people of the Niger Delta not to allow the recent award of pipeline surveillance to divide them,
Amb Kenedy Tonjo-West, MOSIEND President who spoke to newsmen in Yenagoa, said that some actions by aggrieved individuals and groups including frivolous petitions disparaging political office holders, and ultimatums were regrettable.
Tonjo-West urged President Muhammadu Buhari to disregard such petitions as the issues stated therein are unfounded, lack substance and ill orchestrated.
According to him, the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, now a private business outfit, has said in response to some uninformed agitation that the contract was awarded strict adherence to the Procurement Act and that the companies were qualified and we think that they deserve commendation for getting it right.
“As a group, we are calling for caution because the Federal Government in their wisdom deemed it right to involve community participation in addition to the military’s dedicated efforts in the fight against illegal bunkering and oil theft in the region.
“This singular policy by the government is already generating employment for thousands of previously jobless youths within the communities who are now trained and engaged by the companies in line with their contractual obligations.
“As co-travellers, who share the same polluted environment and have suffered losses from oil-related activities, we should learn to put our common interest above all and show our adversaries that we love ourselves.
“We should cooperate, tolerate and respect each other, promote harmonious relationships, support and share in the success of our neighbours. We should also avoid intimidating any tribe or ethnic Nationality due to their size or educational standing,” Tonjo-West said
He called on all the ethnic nationalities in the region to unite as one people and to live together in tolerance.
“In our view, the representatives of the government or the company cannot and should not be allowed to pitch any individual or ethnic group against another. The representatives should conduct themselves in a manner that is worthy of the office they hold.
“We advise that individuals, ethnic Nationalities and tribes who are not directly part of the contract should never give up on our working together, let us be proactive and consciously allow for a win-win approach to enable us to grow and progress together,” he said.
Tonjo-West called for reorientation and repositioning mechanisms to recover the lost values as a region and draw inspiration from a stanza of our old National anthem that says, “though tribes and tongue may differ, in unity and brotherhood we stand.”