The National Association of Seadogs (NAS) unequivocally condemns the dastardly bomb blast that claimed the lives of several innocent Nigerians and friends of Nigeria in Abuja on Nigeria’s 50th Independence Anniversary on Friday the 1st of October,2010.
We express our profound condolences to the families of those who were killed in this unfortunate and ugly incident that occurred on an historic day when our nation was celebrating her Golden jubilee.
NAS views this unjustifiable callous act as morally outrageous and a sacrilege to the sanctity of lives of the victims and others, gruesomely wounded in the aftermath of the sad incident. We once again, hereby, condemn the perpetrators of this wicked act of terrorism.
The Federal Government should thoroughly investigate this ugly incident and ensure that culprits are arrested and prosecuted in accordance with the law. No one, no matter the extent of provocation, has the right to engage in wanton destruction of lives and property.
Similarly, we charge the security agencies to become more proactive in the discharge of their statutory obligations especially as it has been gathered, that in fact, a number of warnings were received from a variety of sources and ignored. The security forces therefore risked the lives of Nigerians and invited guests including foreign VIPs by failing to avert and forestall its execution.
Like in most similar circumstances all over the world, perpetrators of violence have always tried to rationalize their actions by employing diversionary tactics. We as an organization are yet to be convinced that the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) perpetrated this heinous crime. Our reluctance to embrace its involvement at this moment, is because, the MEND cannot afford to shoot itself in the foot, by attacking innocent people whose cause it claims to be fighting. A deeper and more robust investigation is necessary to unravel those behind this dastardly act.
The National Association of Seadogs (NAS) wishes to emphatically state that violence does not resolve festering issues like the Niger Delta crisis which we have repeatedly declared, is a sore on the conscience of our nation. Violence begets more furious violence. We abhor violence and believes that non violent agitation ultimately remains the best alternative by agitators in the Niger Delta and other parts of the republic, in the strive with other like minds to create a more equitable, just and peaceful society.
It is worthy to remind aggrieved agitators in the Niger Delta and other parts of the nation that two major proponents of non-violence, Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King, repudiated aggression in their respective countries not withstanding the palpable oppression meted out to their people.
History is replete with the remarkable and far-reaching changes these men made in their respective societies through this approach. A non-violent modus operandi and persuasive political activism remains the only recipe for change.
To this end, the National Association of Seadogs (NAS) reiterates:
• President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan (GCON) should find a lasting solution to the problems of the fractious Niger Delta Region. The current amnesty is a fragile arrangement that holds little probability for a permanent solution to the palpable underdevelopment and degradation in the region. We believe that a review of the current Amnesty arrangement to make it more credible and transparent is vital.
• The federal government should cause the nation’s security apparatus, local and international intelligence agencies to establish first and foremost the direct involvement of the MEND and/or otherwise.
• The President should also expeditiously implement the full recommendations of the Technical Committee on the Niger Delta, chaired by Mr. Ledum Mitee. We believe that its implementation remains a feasible roadmap for the resolution of the Niger Delta conflict.
• The MEND, other militant groups and the Federal Government should recommence the stalled talks started by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
• The MEND and other aggrieved militants in the Niger Delta and elsewhere should embrace non-violence as a veritable means of agitation to avert further unwarranted loss of innocent lives and property.
• President Jonathan should as a matter of National security and emergency submit a Bill to the National Assembly to decentralize the Nigeria Police Force (NPF), to pave way for State and Community policing, to address the security concerns of the nation. The National Association of Seadogs (NAS) did call for devolution of the nation’s police authority for effectiveness in our 50th Independence Anniversary Press Statement. That call is hereby re-enforced.
• The National Association of Seadogs (NAS) also condemn in unequivocal terms the recent kidnap of 15 young pupils aged (3-11 years) old in Aba, Abia state a few days before these terrorist attacks. The security situation in Nigeria is gradually tilting towards a failed state scenario, and must be arrested immediately, before it degenerates. The time for a proactive overhaul of the nation’s security institutions is NOW.
• Those behind this act of terror against innocent Nigerians and friends of Nigeria in the nation’s Capital, Abuja, should be unveiled and made to face the full wrath of the law.
National Association of Seadogs (NAS)
October 03, 2010