26 November 2015, Lagos – The Niger Delta Self-Determination Movement has appealed to the United Nations to assist the Niger Delta in its quest to own and control its resources.
Niger Delta activist and convener of the NDSDM, Ms Annkio Briggs, explained that their demand was not for a secession.
“This is not a call for secession. After consultations, we came up with the position to control our resources,” she said.
According to her, their demand for self-determination is based on the lopsided nature of resource allocation in the country.
Briggs urged the UN to assist the Niger Delta with the conduct of a credible referendum in the region in order to enable it exercise its rights and the will of the people.
She said, “After due consultations with our various peoples, we have reached a conclusion and our position was reached pursuant to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights.
“We are also relying on the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples and the various bills of rights in the Niger Delta.
“We also rely on the UN address by President Muhammadu Buhari at the 70th session of the UN General Assembly in New York on September 28, 2015.
“The President stated in his address that the unresolved question of self-determination for the Palestinian people and those of Western Sahara, both nations haven’t been adjusted by the UN as qualifying for this inalienable right must now be assured and fulfilled without any further delay or obstacle.”
She noted that being granted self-determination would enable the people of the Niger Delta to exercise their right to autonomy in matters relating to their local affairs, religion, education, economic activities, lands and other natural resources management, among others.
“Pursuant to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights, the people of the Niger Delta have articulated our demand for self-determination through various ethnic nationalities’ bills of rights.”