*Why we failed to launch missiles in N-Delta – JNDLF
*Makes 7-point demand, including defreezing Tompolo bank accounts
Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South, Sam Oyadongha, Egufe Yafugborhi, Perez Brisibe and Akpokona Omafuaire
THE Joint Revolutionary Council, JRC, of the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force, JNDLF, yesterday, warned that it would go after any state governor from the Niger Delta region that betrays the current struggle by militants. The militant group gave the warning on a day the Niger Delta Avengers blew up a key crude oil pipeline, belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, Agip Eni, in Bayesla State making it the 16th of such attacks on pipelines since it commenced pipeline bombing on February 10.
JNDLF in a statement by the Commander, General Duties, JNDLF, General Akotebe Darikoro, and three others, also explained why the militant group did not launch six missiles in the region as earlier threatened. The group, which has agreed to engage in dialogue with the Federal Government also made a seven-point demand to forestall further attacks.
Its words: “We shall continue to engage in dialogue if our demands are met. Our representatives for the dialogue, especially the governors and others will not betray our demands with the federal government. Any betrayal on their own part shall be viewed as betrayal of the entire region and we shall go after them immediately as they know our mode of operation in which they will not escape from us.”
The group asserted: “There is no gainsaying that we made our earlier promise to launch six Missiles simultaneously against some targeted areas. But this was waved aside as a result of appeals made to us through email by the Federal Government and some international nations to open talks with (President) Buhari.” “We saw some genuine aspiration on the part of Buhari, who made several contacts to us to see reason with them over the issue of under-development of the region. And since he (Buhari) had set the ball rolling for a clear negotiation with us, there is no problem without solution. We have therefore declared ceasefire in order to negotiate with the government if it is a true reflection of what they have in mind to develop the Niger Delta region”.
The group added that: “We are not ready to negotiate with the federal government for the sake of monetary benefit to us but how genuinely the government will develop the region is at the centre of our discussion and anything less than that we will continue our struggle without further warning to the federal government.”
Conditions to forestall further attacks
The group also gave some conditions which the government must meet in order to avert resumption of struggle which include: “immediate release of the former National Security Adviser (NSA), Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd) and Dr. Nnamdi Kanu, whose release was ordered by the court severally, pointing out that “their continued detention was unconstitutional and against the tenet of our nascent democracy in the country”. JNDLF also demanded that: “the government must “direct EFCC to defreeze the bank accounts of ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, (a.k.a. Tompolo). The only Nigerian Maritime University sited in the most appropriate and befitting place – Okerenkoko in Delta State, must start the 2015/2016 academic session immediately;
“The immediate implementation of the report of the 2014 National Conference report, failure of which Nigeria will forcefully break-up. “ Oil-polluted lands in the Niger Delta must be cleaned up, while compensation should be paid to all oil-producing communities, e.g. Chevron fire outbreak of gas explosion in Koluama, Bayelsa state and Bonga Oil Spill in 2011; “Removal of Brigadier General Paul Boroh (rtd.) as an Amnesty Coordinator who does not understand the programmes and policies of the Amnesty and does not know us to the grassroots. “Hence he (Boroh) should be replaced with Dr. Felix Tuodolo who has been in the struggle of non-violence since 1980 and he was the designer of the Amnesty programme. The group added: “We carry out all these attacks on oil and gas pipelines in the region because of the statement made by President Buhari that, he will develop those areas that gave him 95% votes during his presidential election last year. We, the Niger Delta people only gave him 5% hence we vowed that our oil money will not be used for the development of any other region. The President should change his mind-set towards the region, if not this will continue.”
JNDLF asserted: “We further thank the American government and other international nations through several emails for prevailing on us not to use missiles, but to come to round table discussion with the federal government. We also thank our foreign partners who have gone back with their chartered submarine vessels. However, if these demands are not met as we have embarked on cease fire now, there will be no further ultimatum to the Nigerian government,” it said.
Partly culled from Vanguard