Page last updated at 14:27 GMT, Wednesday, 15 July 2009 15:27 UK

Niger Delta truce: Your comments

The main rebel group in Nigeria's Niger Delta is to observe a 60-day ceasefire in its attacks on the oil industry.

You have been telling us whether you think the ceasefire will hold.


Fighters from Mend, file image

I believe the ceasefire will work if the government, the militants and the people of Niger Delta are sincere to the peace and rebuilding programme. That area needs unscheduled and massive development for of the poorer people of the region.
Fashakin Joseph, Ajegunle, Lagos, Nigeria

I am from the Niger Delta region and am sure the ceasefire declared by MEND will be respected by other groups as MEND has an overwhelming influence over them. Again, since the government appears to have demonstrated in a most sincere manner their willingness to address the issues at stake through the release of their leader, Henry Okah, all they need to do now, and quickly too, is to convene a meeting with the militant leaders/representatives and the region's elders/political leaders to work out the road-map to enduring peace in Niger Delta.
Abel Iyesele, Lagos, Nigeria

I think the ceasefire will last for some time since the leader has been released, but the militants will still open fire if the government does not attend to their needs and demands.
Frank Ogbonna, Abuja, Nigeria


I do not think the ceasefire will last. I am a Nigerian but not a Niger-Deltan; and I certainly believe that the Niger Delta would benefit more from their resources. MEND in my view is not a sincere organisation but a criminal opportunist group. They claim to be fighting for the rights of the Niger Delta people, how come they have not used the proceeds of their oil theft and ransoms from their kidnappings to build schools and hospitals in the Niger Delta? Okah has been released but he is not remorseful, nor is he showing a commitment to peace; but simply denying he is not a leader or member of MEND. They are simply holding Nigeria to ransom. The ceasefire is a "smokescreen" and it will not last. It is better to jaw-jaw than to war-war. I hope MEND will learn from the history of the Biafra war.
O. Popoola, London, England

Mend rebels, 2008
Attacks by the rebels have seriously disrupted Nigeria's oil industry

The ceasefire will definitely not last. This is because the government is yet to show any sincere commitment towards finding a lasting solution to the Niger Delta crisis. It is hard to believe the government, nobody should take the militants seriously.
Ogunedo Emeka, Lagos, Nigeria

The ceasefire is only a temporary respite. The militants cannot afford to completely disarm because of suspicion; the government of Nigeria under PDP is not reputed for honouring agreements. Until the government addresses the root issues of fairer distribution of oil wealth, economic empowerment of the people of Niger Delta and protection of their environment, we will not witness a lasting peace in the region.
Emmanuel Olulana, Lagos, Nigeria

The government's amnesty is a half-hearted effort
George, Calabar

The government's amnesty is a half-hearted effort stopping short of declaring war on the Niger Delta Region. There was no need for confrontation in the first instance. They should have been responsible and shown regard for those who pay the cost of the nation's wealth.
George Nsan, Calabar, Nigeria

The ceasefire will not last. What is at the root of the problem is the massive neglect of the Niger Delta area. It is not about the personal development of the militants by offering them education and training. We cannot ignore the disease and treat the symptoms and expect a positive outcome.
Victor Ibegbulam, Umuahia, Nigeria

The ceasefire will not work until the government stops playing games with the rebels. We Nigerians know too well that the Niger Delta has been marginalised - no good education, no good water, everywhere is polluted. But still the money being generated from oil is used to develop the northern parts of the country like Abuja. So the ceasefire will not work and it's not the sign of a peace process.
Emmy, Onitsha, Nigeria

I doubt much if the ceasefire will last because of the huge credibility gap existing between the government and the rebels. While the government has shown deep indifference on these issues, the rebels would not want a change in the status quo because of huge the profit they are making from their operations.
Nick Okoro, Lagos, Nigeria

This struggle is not about justice
Ahaoma, Lagos

It will be difficult for the rebels to stop the attacks completely. This is because the fight has gone beyond that for justice to that of economic gains for fighters. The most the government can do is to reduce friction between it and the movement in such a way that both the government and the rebels would have unfettered access to oil for sale for their respective benefit. The government is interested in peace in the Niger Delta because it wants to be selling oil and the rebels know that. The only solution to the issues at stake is for government to de-emphasise oil and invest in agriculture in all parts of Nigeria. As long as Nigeria depends on sale of oil for survival there will never be peace in the delta, no matter the level of investment made in the region by the government because the rebels and indigenous people would always think it was not enough. It has come to a point that even if communities are allowed to control the resources there will be infighting between them. Diversification of the economy is the only solution to the uprising.
Ikenna Emeka Okpani, Abuja, Nigeria

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