Prominent Niger Delta militants have vowed to ensure that President Goodluck Jonathan wins the presidential election coming up on 15th Febuary 2015. Goodluck Jonathan is from the Niger Delta region and the only one from a minority tribe to have governed Nigeria. The former militants threatened to go to war and take back Niger Delta oil if Jonathan loses the forth-coming election. They believe the president’s victory in the election is not negotiable.
This decision was reached at a meeting that was held at the Government House, Yenagoa , Bayelsa State Capital which had in attendance all the former militant leaders and their followers across the Niger Delta region. Some of the militants that were there at the meeting were, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, leader Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force; Victor Ben Ebikabowei, aka, BoyLoaf, and Government Ekpudomenowei, aka, Tompolo.
In attendance also were the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, and Chairman of Amnesty Implementation Committee, Kingsley Kuku, Bayelsa State Governor Henry Seriake Dickson and his deputy, President General of Ijaw Youth Council, Udengs Eradiri, and many more.
Alhaji Dokubo-Asari strongly condemned what he claimed to be an intimidation against the Ijaw people in Nigeria. For him, enough is enough, they will no longer swallow it. Hence he said, “For every Goliath, God created a David. For every Pharoah, there is a Moses. We are going to war. Everyone of you should go and fortify yourself.” He then advised those at the meeting to be ready for the battle ahead and declared that Mr. Jonathan would win re-election.
He later condemned the attack on Jonathan during his presidential campaigns in the north, and said that the survival of the Ijaw nation rest in the hands of the militants gathered at the meeting.
Ebikabowei Victor-Ben popularly known as General Boyloaf, who was one of the leaders of the defunct Movement of the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) also spoke strongly against the attack on GEJ in the north. According to him, nobody has the monopoly of violence. He also claimed that there is nothing like one Nigeria, and that oil is the one thing that binds Nigeria’s diverse nationalities together.
He reiterated that GEJ would win the coming election, however, if the north snatches the power away from him, the Niger Delta people would take their oil back.
He emphasized the need for them to be united and keep aside any grudges so that they could face the challenges facing the Ijaw nation with oneness of heart. “Keep grudges and sentiments apart. We are ready to match them bumper to bumper,” Boyloaf said.
The governor of Bayelsa state Henry Dickson thanked the former militants for their strong support for the re-election of GEJ and promised he will convey their thoughts to Jonathan. Moreover, he advised them not to allow themselves to be bought over by the opposition parties with the aim of destabilizing the state. He also called on them to avoid propaganda and blackmail.
This tells us the state of the mindset of many people in Nigeria with regards to election and winning election. Must we win an election ? Is it a disgrace to loose an election ? Why must the president be from our region ? What we should be concerned with is the best person to lead our nation forward and not backward. This person could come from anywhere. And if the person we think is the best is defeated at the election, we should be humble to accept whoever wins that may not be who we voted for. Nigerians may we all work together to make this election a peaceful one. War solves no problem. It will rather take us back. That is not where we want to be. May we never listen to those who call for violence at this election. God help Nigeria.