Chukwudi Akasike and Friday Amobi
Niger Delta militants on Saturday vowed to blow up more oil facilities in the region if the Federal Government fail to drop the charges against a former militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission declared Tompolo wanted in February over an alleged N45.9bn fraud and charged him to court in absentia.
The leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Democratic Front, General Playboy, urged the Federal Government to leave Tompolo and any indigene from the oil-rich region alone.
The militant leader, in an email, decried the raid of Gbaramatu Kingdom by soldiers, adding that soldiers never raided communities in the North in search of Boko Haram members.
He also said the government must apologise to Tompolo over the death of his (Tompolo) father.
He said, “You (Federal Government) are coming to Gbaramatu Kingdom in search of militants; how many communities in the North-East have you raided in search of Boko Haram?
“We have said it before now that we will not stop bombing until the Federal Government drops charges against Tompolo and any indigene of Niger Delta, and apologise to Tompolo over the death of his father, who soldiers have killed.
“Let me use this medium to warn the Federal Government that if anything should happen to former President Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, President Muhammadu (Buhari) will see our true colours.”
General Playboy also said there was a need for government to begin the clean-up of Ogoniland and other parts of the Niger Delta region before December 1, 2016.
“We urge that Ogoni cleansing should be handled by Niger Delta indigenous companies. It is painful that our Niger Delta states cannot pay salaries while Lagos State can pay. Why should Lagos State be richer than Delta State if not for the neglect?
“We are urging all Niger Delta governors to come together and let us fight because we need development in our land. All our states should have a tourist attraction like the Obudu cattle ranch,” the militant leader added.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Army has pledged to end attacks on oil facilities in the region, stressing that it would not watch criminals destroy the nation’s major assets.
The army disclosed that the need to provide security for the nation’s critical infrastructure in the Niger Delta region led to the creation of the 6 Division covering four states in the area; Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Bayelsa and Delta states.
The Pioneer General Officer Commanding 6 Division, Nigerian Army, Major General Kasimu Abdulkarim, stated this on Friday in his maiden briefing while resuming as head of the newly established division.
Abdulkarim said the formation of 6 Division was in conformity with the change agenda of President Muhammadu Buhari in the area of security.
He added that the command would go after some militant groups; Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta and the Niger Delta Avengers, who were leading ongoing agitations in the region.
Abdulkarim said, “The presence of critical national assets and infrastructure in the area underscores the need for the Order of Battle review. Despite routine reviews of Order of Battle, varied and emerging security challenges in the country continue to expose gaps and loopholes.” (Punchng.com)