A socio-cultural group, Yarkurr Community, comprising Yarkurr people of Cross River, living in Bayelsa State, has called on the nine states of the Niger Delta to join hands in fighting extremism and terrorism that have crept into the region.
The group also condemned the killings going on across the country by suspected Fulani herdsmen, urging the relevant authorities to halt the tragedy in the interest of the country’s peace, security, unity and oneness.
The Chairman, Yarkurr Community, Bayelsa State, Mr. Apollos Paul, expressed these positions on Saturday in Yenagoa, the state capital, during the inauguration of the group’s maiden almanac and broadband technology programme for 10 youths from Bayelsa and Cross River states.
Paul said their goal is a coalition of communities, who share the aim of stamping out extrimism, discrimination and providing children a hopeful future.
He said the meeting was to signpost the end for those who practise crime and spread its vile creed, saying the future could only be achieved through defeating crime and the ideology that drives it.
He said, “A few states have been spread the violent reach of terrorism. Niger Delta has suffered repeated barbaric attacks from the atrocities.
“One of such is the recent massacre of innocent citizens in Rivers State on January 1, 2018. The city of Port Harcourt and its environs have also endured unspeakable terror, likewise Abia, Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Edo, Imo and Ondo states.
“It is a tragedy of epic proportion, no description of the suffering and deprivation can capture its full measure. The true toll of herdsmen attacks, if you look at what is happening in Benue, Taraba, Borno, Adamawa, Nassarawa, Kaduna, Edo, Delta states and so many others, must not be only connected in the number of the dead, it must also be counted in generations of vanished dreams.
“The Niger Delta is rich with natural beauty, vibrant cultures and massive number of historic treasures. It should increasingly become one of the great global centres of commerce and opportunities. This region should not be a place for which refugees flee and dwell but to which newcomers flock.”
He warned terrorists against invoking the name of God in their nefarious activities, saying that if they knew God, they would not engage in terrorism.
Paul added, “Any time a terrorist murders an innocent person and falsely invokes the name of God, it should be an insult to every person of faith. Terrorists do not worship God, they worship death.
“If we do not act against this organised crime, then we know what will happen and what will be the end result. If terrorism and crime continue to spread and peaceful coexistence engulfed by violence, the future of many generations will be sadly squandered.
“If we do not stand in unity to condemn these killings, then not only will we be judged by our people, but by history and by God.”