The Ijaw Republic Assembly, IRA, has said that the people of Southern Nigeria will push for a referendum before the 2019 elections.
Speaking, a human right activist, and spokesperson of the group, Annkio Briggs pointed out that this is the only way Southerners could remain in Nigeria.
She told reporters, “There is nothing about Nigeria that can worry me. It is good for us. The moment you are convinced about something, you must take a position that that thing can favour you. I have no disagreement with any Niger Delta group that is for the good of the Niger Delta and I should be part of it. It is better late than nothing at all.
“They said Boko Haram had been technically defeated and afterwards they came back to life again. Their flag was handed over to Buhari in the Villa and they were also decimated. What are we talking about?
“If these are the same people that government is releasing $1billion to fight, even the UN said it was the kick-off amount to clean up Ogoni oil spill. First, that money is coming from the Niger Delta and you want to use it to fight an organisation that you said was small and was defeated. I think that money is for an election.
“Secondly, if PANDEF presented a 16-point agenda, I said what we want is the restructuring of Nigeria. Take any agency, including NDDC, Ministry of Niger Delta or Niger Basin, but give us our Niger Delta.
“ If you said you want to fight Boko Haram and you do not want to carry out the simple demands of the people who own the money you want to use on Boko Haram, then you are going to cause problems.
“Why do you think it will go on like that? The issue of Chibok girls was a creation against the Niger Delta. Restructuring gives us the opportunity as Nigeria to stay together as a people.
“Not just the APC that has said there would be no restructuring, the northern governors and the elites have also said that they will never accept restructuring. If they have said that, then we have nothing else to discuss.
“I had said it long ago that there was a grand plan to Islamise Nigeria. Since these things are now playing out as planned, then we have to come to terms with the reality. Buhari has a sectional drive for himself and his people. What is left for us is for the Yorubas, Igbos, Itsekiris, Urhobos, Niger Delta people to push for a referendum before the 2019 elections. The referendum must be accepted based on ethnic nationalities.
“We must ask ourselves whether we want to remain in Nigeria or not. If we agree or we don’t agree, we still need to sit down and talk. I believe in my position because it will be good for my people. We are not at war, yet we are asking for peace. We are not at war, yet people are walking on foot from the far north to the south armed.
“This we must do before the election. Imagine these people burning down Chief Olu Falae’s farm. Why him? Why not burn down Obasanjo’s own farm? The Fulanis are good at instigating situations. By attacking Olu Falae, they are instigating the Afenifere and the Yoruba nation. Somebody like Obasanjo is seen working with them. Falae is very critical of them. They have attacked him severally. Why?”