Niger Delta Self-Determination Movement (NDSDM) has called on the Chairman, South-South Governors’ Forum and governor of Delta State, Ifeanyi Okowa, to convene a South-South Security Summit to address the frequent attacks and killings by suspected herdsmen in the region.
In a letter dated February 19, 2020 and addressed to Okowa, a copy which was made available to The NEXT EDITION in Lagos, the advocacy group decried the worsening security situation in the region occasioned by the acts of the killer-herdsmen.
Okowa took over from the immediate-past chairman of the forum and governor of Bayelsa State, Seriake Dickson, whose eight-year tenure ended on February 14.
The Delta State governor had last week lamented the killing of eight persons by suspected herdsmen who attacked Avwon, Agadama, Ohoror, and other communities of Uwheru Kingdom in the Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state.
He alleged that soldiers aided the attacks which had become a yearly routine in the affected areas.
The NDSDM in the letter signed by its Convener and foremost Niger Delta female activist, Annkio Briggs, said the insecurity challenge caused by the harmful activities of herdsmen was heightening anxiety among the people of the region.
Briggs said: “Every day we hear of killer-herdsmen attacking otherwise peaceful communities within the Niger Delta.
“Only recently, some communities in Delta State were attacked by killer-herdsmen who continue to be emboldened to commit more atrocities as the security agencies look the other way or sometimes are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the attacks.”
She said the group was confident that the security summit would afford the South-South states the platform to come up with a regional security network to assist the security agencies.
Briggs further said, “What’s true of Delta State is true of all the South-South states, there is absolutely no state in the South-South that is immune from the rampaging and ravaging killer-herdsmen and the security breach they bring with them.
“It is on the above premise the NDSDM humbly suggest that you use your good office as the Chairman of the South-South Governors’ Forum to urgently summon a South-South Security Summit with your brother governors along with people of the Niger Delta to agree on a regional security network that will aid the overstretched established security agencies in combating the unacceptable level of insecurity across the Nigeria Delta.
“It is the view of the NDSDM that this summit is convened without delay as security of lives and property is the first and most crucial responsibility of any government.
“The NDSDM, in all sincerity, can no longer trust the established security agencies to protect our people as they have shown a high level of complicity, and sometimes outright connivance with the killer-herdsmen to kill, kidnap, molest and terrorise our people.