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Niger Delta Militants Threaten To Shut Down Oil Wells Over CJN, Onnoghen’s Trial

               Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen

The Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators on Sunday warned that it would begin to attack oil wells in the oil-rich region if President Buhari failed to reverse the harassment of  Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen.

The various militant groups said they were shocked to learn about the planned arraignment of the CJN over allegations of false asset declaration.

A statement issued via electronic mail by the coalition alleged that Onnoghen was being persecuted because he was from the Niger Delta, adding that the petition was plotted by the Presidency to forcefully remove Onnoghen as the CJN and replace him with a northerner.

The statement was signed by John Duku of the Niger Delta Watchdogs  and Convener, Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators; Ekpo Ekpo of the Niger Delta Volunteers; Simply Benjamin (Bakassi Strike Force); Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors); Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters); and Asukwo Henshaw (Bakassi Freedom Fighters).

It stated, “In the first instance, President Muhammadu Buhari was not disposed to Justice Onnoghen’s appointment to this position, which was why he refused to confirm the appointment after so many months of serving in an acting capacity. It was during the period of his sickness while in Britain that the (then) acting President – Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, confirmed the appointment.

“We wish to also recall that in August last year, Mr Matthew Seiyefa of Bayelsa State, who was the most senior and most qualified officer at the time was appointed to the position of acting Director-General of the Department of State Services by Prof. Osinbajo, only to be replaced with a retired and junior officer to Seiyefa, Mr Yusuf Bichi, by President Buhari as soon as he resumed duties.

“We hereby vehemently resist any attempt to remove the CJN from office. We, therefore, want to state categorically that if the Presidency failed to reverse its harassment against the CJN, we will have no other option but to mobilise all the Niger Delta fighters and commence serious actions that would shake the country and the whole world.

“We shall shut down all the oil wells in the Niger Delta. We call on all the northerners and Yoruba who own oil wells in the Niger Delta to prepare to vacate immediately.

“We also want to warn our Niger Delta brothers, who are working for Buhari to watch their back and know that we are watching them and their family members. We warn them to stop campaigning for Buhari in the Niger Delta,” the militants added.  (Punch)

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Niger Delta Militants To Resume Hostilities Over IOC Refusal To Relocate Headquarters

Chukwudi Akasike, Port Harcourt

THE Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators on Wednesday announced that it was returning to the creeks over the refusal of international oil companies to relocate to the Niger Delta region.

The coalition also condemned what it described as an unwarranted invasion of the house of elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, adding that the aim was to assassinate Clark for championing the course of the Niger Delta people.

A statement signed by leaders of the militant groups that make up the coalition warned IOCs that failed to relocate their headquarters to the Niger Delta before December 2018 to stop operation or be ready to face the consequences.

Some of the signatories to the statement issued via an electronic mail are John Duku, leader of Niger Delta Watchdogs and the Convener of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators; Ekpo Ekpo (Niger Delta Volunteers), Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors), Henry Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters) and Asukwo Henshaw (Bakassi Freedom Fighters).

The coalition said it had played its part by holding onto its pledge to cease fire, adding that with the resumption of hostilities, the agitators would force national oil production to 200 barrels per day within one month.

The militants described the refusal by President Muhammadu Buhari to sign the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill into law as an attempt to forcefully control the Niger Delta resources by proxy.

The statement read, “We view, analyse and also condemn in strongest terms the unwarranted order by the Federal Government and the Inspector-General of Police to invade the Abuja home of Niger Delta leader and elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, with the aim of assassinating him for championing restructuring and the course of the Niger Delta people.

“The recent attempt on the life of Chief E. K. Clark is one of the attempts on the people in the Southern and Middle Belt Forum penciled down for assassination or frame-up by this administration through the office of the Inspector- General of Police, conniving with some top government functionaries from the Niger Delta region, including two former governors who just defected from the Peoples Democratic Party to the All Progressives Congress.

“Our intelligence further revealed that some of the people under the government’s watch list that would either be assassinated or framed up are Obong Victor Attah, Dr Alfred Mulade, Air Commodore Idongesit Nkanga (retd.), Senator Bassey Henshaw, Mr Yinka Odumakin, Prof Chigozie Ogbu, Dr Isuwa Dogo and others for attempting to stand against the killings across the country as well as their stance on restructuring.

“We hereby issue an ultimatum that any oil company that fails to relocate its headquarters to the Niger Delta between now and December 2018 should stop operation and vacate the Niger Delta region or face the consequences.

“The coalition wishes to state here clearly that we had fulfilled our part by maintaining total peace and ceasefire in the Niger Delta since 2017 as advised by the Niger Delta elders and leaders, the oil output during the period have increased tremendously.

“We hereby officially announce that our ceasefire ends today (Wednesday) and we are returning to the creeks. We assure the Presidency that with just one month of our operation, the oil output will return to 200 barrels per day.”  (Punch)

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How We Stopped Niger-Delta Militancy, IPOB Plot – Osinbajo |RN

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Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

  • Nigeria’s foundation deficient, threatened – Monarchs
  • Say non-adoption of confab reports disheartening

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has singled out traditional rulers as the brains behind the successful stoppage of Niger Delta militancy and the truncation of the secession plot by the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) in the South East, leading to relative peace in the two regions.

This is even as Traditional Rulers in the country have expressed described Nigeria’s foundation as deficient and threatened.

Speaking on Wednesday at the opening of the 10th National Development Summit of Nigerian Traditional Rulers in Abuja, Osinbajo noted that the monarchs have played crucial roles at the point that the country was threatened by Niger Delta militancy and the secessionist group, IPOB in the South East.

The Vice President challenged monarchs in Nigeria to take greater responsibility in resolving conflicts in the country, saying dialogue and engagements are just as important as law enforcement in tackling disputes.

According to him, “traditional rulers were better placed to champion this vision of continuing dialogue and engagement because of the respect you command from the widest possible range of stakeholders and parties.

“Dialogue and engagement are just as important as law enforcement, especially in situations triggered by misunderstandings and disagreements between people and communities who have existed peacefully side-by-side for centuries.”

Osinbajo added that although security agencies are critical elements in checking criminality and ensuring that perpetrators are brought to justice, overlooking the place of non-coercive conflict prevention and resolution mechanisms would do a great disservice to the people of Nigeria.

“You are also repositories of important intelligence that can be useful in detecting suspicious or criminal activity. The partnership between traditional authority and government is therefore crucial,” he said.

He said it was against this background that government co-opted the monarchs in its approach in dealing with Nigeria’s most pressing security issues in the Niger Delta and in the Middle Belt.

“I can say without fear of contradiction that the New Vision for the Niger Delta would not have happened without the support of traditional rulers and leaders in the region.

We have made it a priority to meet with them and carry them along, and ask for their wisdom and their support in resolving issues with stakeholders and communities. This was also our approach in the wake of secessionist agitation by IPOB in the South East.”

He added that the Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has been engaging traditional rulers in the flashpoint regions, counting on the influence they wield to chart a new and collective course of understanding, instead of the default approach of resorting to violence as a way of dealing with grievances.

“As custodians of our rich history, we also believe that you have a duty to remind us of the things we have got right in the past, but from which, for some reason or another, we have departed from, to our detriment,” Osinbajo said.

He noted said the traditional cultures have long perfected timeless dispute-resolution and community-engagement mechanisms that are now under threat of being lost forever.

“As traditional rulers, your forebears and ancestors were the initiators and implementers of many of these mechanisms, and our cultural institutions have evolved ways of passing this knowledge down the generations – even if we have not been paying attention as we should.

“May I therefore most respectfully ask that you take this as a call to you, as royal fathers, as traditional rulers, as elder statesmen, to commit yourselves to deepen your partnership with government, to achieve our shared goal of laying the foundation of peace and security that will guarantee true greatness for Nigeria.”

In his welcome address, Chairman of Governing Council of the National Development Summit of Traditional Rulers, the Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom of Delta State, His Royal Majesty, Emmanuel Abe called for more roles for traditional rulers by the government.

He said it was disheartening that the constitutional review embarked upon by the National Assembly had remained inclusive for over a decade, while resolutions at the recent national conference, have not been considered for adoption in the interest of national survival and progress.

Abe said the country needs a good leader that will create jobs and build bridges, adding that as a result of the security challenges in the country, most traditional rulers were unable to attend the summit that started with over 400 members when it was inaugurated by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua ten years ago.

The Monarch said that the country has incredible potentials and uncommon ideals that could make it soar into greatness, adding that Nigeria was not meant to crawl or stagnate.

According to him, “Here is a country born with incredible potentials, established on goodness and trust, with uncommon ideals and dreams that could make her soar into high altitudes of greatness. Like the eagles, Nigeria was born with powerful wings, in the form of enormous natural endowments. Nigeria was never meant to crawl or stagnate.

“Whatever we may say or do, the fact remains that our foundation as a nation as designed by our founding fathers has been visibly deficient and threatening. Administrations come and go but none has been courageous enough to address conclusively the issue of structural flaws.

“We cannot do anything against the truth. The only way the eagle will fly is for it to realize that it is gifted with better wings than other birds and make a decision to use the wings effectively.

“We must resolve to build a new nation on a foundation of equity, justice, fairness, labour and high moral standards. This is what makes the United States of America and other advanced economies to tick.

“It is amazing how constitutional review has remained inclusive for over a decade at the National Assembly in spite of the exigency of the matter. It is equally disheartening that the resolutions of all recent national conferences were never considered for adoption in the interest of national survival and progress, the huge funds sunk in these projects notwithstanding.”  (The Sun)

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Presidency Orders Meeting Of Security Chiefs, Ondo Gov’t Over Militants’ Arms |RN

From: Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure

President Muhammadu Buhari has reportedly ordered a meeting of
security chiefs with officials of the Ondo State Government following
the submission of suphisticated weapons by militants in the creeks of
the state.

It was gathered that the president directed security chiefs to meet
with officials of the state government and members of the state’s
amnesty committee.

Also, it was gathered that the presidency was worried by the quality
of weapons recovered from militants in the creeks of Ondo State.

The meeting ordered by President Buhari, it was learnt was meant to
review the security situation in oil rich Niger Delta region.

A source revealed that governors of the nine oil producing states as
well as security chiefs are expected at the parley.

According to the source, the meeting which is being coordinated by the
Director General of the Department of State Services(DSS), Mallam
Lawal Daura is coming on the heels of the massive arms haul effected
by the Ondo State Amnesty Committee in conjunction with security
agencies.

The source hinted that the proposed meeting became necessary because
it was widely believed before now that aside the Niger Delta Avengers,
none of the militant group has the capacity to pull through a massive
arms hold as witnessed in Ondo State last week.

At the riverine Ajapa community in Ese-Odo Local Government Area of
the state, the Amnesty Committee in company of security chiefs had
last week recovered dangerous assorted weapons from militants.

The recovered arms included a Browning machine gun, one General
Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG), Daewoo K3, Colt Automatic Rifles, Breda
30, Fiat Revelli Modelling, several AK 47 Rifles, one Rocket Launcher,
CETME Ameli, Heckler & Koch MG4, tens of Pump Action rifles and some
Automatic Cartridges.

Also surrendered by militants were military uniforms, police bullet
proof vests, dynamites, grenades, bombs and helmets.

The arms were turned in by the kidnappers of the six students of
Igbonla Model College, Epe, Lagos state and other militants.

A member of the state’s amnesty committee who preffered anonymity said
“what we saw was like a film, no one ever envisaged that these young
boys would amass this quality of weapons and keep. It is highly
embarrassing, to say the least.

“As soon as the photographs of the arms were released and it was
confirmed that the arms were from that community aside several others
that were recovered from other villages, the president ordered that an
appraisal be done immediately.

“That is why all the governors of the Niger Delta region and the
security chiefs will meet on Wednesday because no one had any inkling
that apart from the avengers, any such group could muster this massive
hold of weapons.

“It is a thing of great concern and worry to every responsible
government because some of the weapons the militants surrendered are
not just arms even a country can easily procure, it takes a process.
So the question is, how did these boys get to this level.

“More efforts should be made by all the governors of the region to
adopt the Ondo model to mop up arms because there are likely to be
more dangerous game groups with far more sophisticated weapons at
their disposal,” he added.    (The Sun)

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Militants Attack Vessel, Kill 3 Security Escorts In Bayelsa Creeks |RN

 

 

 

 

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Militants

 

Barely three weeks after an ambush on a military houseboat that killed two in Southern Ijaw creeks in Bayelsa, suspected militants have attacked a tugboat in the same area and killed three crew members.

Suspected Niger Delta militants had on Aug. 28 ambushed a houseboat operated by the Joint Task Force and killed a soldier and a civilian crew member.

An oil services vessel with a combined team of security escort on board and civilians was attacked on Friday by suspected sea pirates at Ekebiri Waterways in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that two of the victims of the incident which occurred on Friday were security escorts and a civilian crew member of the tugboat towing a vessel.

Mr Asinim Butswat, Police Public Relations Officer for Bayelsa Command who confirmed the incident said that one police operative was still missing as his remains has yet to be recovered.

He said a response team dispatched to the crime scene rescued eight occupants of the ill-fated boat while efforts are underway to arrest the suspected armed men.

“On Sept. 22, at about 18.45hrs, a Tugboat, towing a Barge with a combined team of policemen from the Nigerian Inland Waterways, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and civilians on board was attacked by suspected sea pirates.

“The incident took place at Ekebiri Waterways in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Bayelsa.

“A reinforced team arrived shortly and rescued one policeman, three NSCDC personnel and four civilians.

“However, a policeman, one NSCDC personnel and a civilian were shot dead by the sea pirates; one policeman is still missing,’’ Butswat said.

He further said the remains of the victims had been recovered and deposited at the Federal Medical Centre Mortuary, Yenagoa, for an autopsy.

According to him, a search party has been deployed to find the missing policeman while all security operatives in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area have been alerted, while efforts are ongoing to arrest the culprits.(NAN)
NN/KAY

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IPOB: Heavy Security In Rivers, As Militants Give Soldiers Monday To Leave Abia |RN

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Niger Delta Militants

 

… As militants give soldiers Monday to leave Abia

From Tony John, Port Harcourt 

Security has been beefed up in some parts of Rivers State, particularly in Oyigbo, the headquarters of Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state, prone to the activities of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB).

Though normalcy had returned in the area after two days mayhem between pro-Biafra agitators and security operatives, which led to the loss of lives and property, several police vehicles were stationed at the popular Oyigbo Express junction. 

Commuters and other road users, who passed through the checkpoints mounted by the police in the area, were forced to raise their hands up. A senior police officer, who was among the police personnel deployed to the area, told Sunday Sun that they would remain in Oyigbo till absolute peace returns.

  The officer, who did not want his name in print, disclosed that surveillance and intelligence gathering was their priority so as to forestall further breakdown of law and order in the area. 

  Meanwhile, some Niger Delta militant groups have given the Nigerian Army until Monday, September 18 to pull out from Aba, Umuahia and some other troubled places in Abia and Rivers States or face attacks.

  The groups included the Niger Delta People Democratic Front (NDPDF), Concerned Militant Leaders (CML), Rainbow Marabas Group (RMG), Creek Revenge Warriors  (CRW) and Niger Delta Sea Lords (NDSL).

They said in Port Harcourt, yesterday, that the terror unleashed on unarmed IPOB supporters was provocative.  Leaders of the groups, General Playboy Iyoyo (NDPDF); General Ben (CML); General Billy Atigah (RMG); General Dolph Pepple (CRW); and Major General Isidore Oghemgbe (NDSL) accused Federal Government of abusing the fundamental human rights of Igbo people. 

  General Ben, who is the convener of the group, faulted the Federal Government for branding unarmed IPOB as a terrorist group, stating that it was a plan to exterminate the southeasterners. 

  He also condemned the proscription of the activities of the group by the South-east governors, warning that their decision would be counter-productive.    However, a Port Harcourt-based security expert, Jackson Ojo, has said that the declaration of the IPOB as a terrorist group by the Defence Headquarters was timely.  Ojo, who spoke with Sunday Sun in Port Harcourt, cautioned that Federal Government should not wait until the pro-Biafra agitators start carrying arms before curbing their excesses.  (The Sun)

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Niger Delta Militants Withdraw Quit Notice To Yoruba, Northerners |RN

• Dump declaration of Republic October 1

From Fred Itua, Abuja

Niger Delta militants have formally withdrawn the quit notice handed down to northerners and Yoruba who reside in the oil-producing region.

Rising from a meeting on Wednesday, the militants, in a U-turn, declared their support for the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), whose leadership they had earlier disowned, to lead the region in ongoing negotiations with the Federal Government.

The agitators also announced the suspension of planned attacks on the oil installations in the region, while putting aside intention to declare a Republic of Niger Delta on October 1, 2017.

In a communique issued at the end of the meeting, a coalition of the agitators, led by General John Duku, said the withdrawal of the quit notice, among other threats, was sequel to PANDEF’s intervention and Nigeria Ethnic Nationality Youth Leaders Forum (NENYLF), led by acting National Chairman, Imoh Okoko.

Those who signed the statement included General John Duku (Niger Delta Watchdogs and convener, Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators); General Ekpo Ekpo (Niger Delta Volunteers); General Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors); Major General Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters); Major General Asukwo Henshaw (Bakassi Freedom Fighters) and Major General Ibinabo Horsfall (Niger Delta Movement for Justice).

Others were Major General Duke Emmanson (Niger Delta Fighters Network); Major General Inibeghe Adams (Niger Delta Freedom Mandate); Major General Abiye Tariah (Niger Delta Development Network); Major General Joshua Ebere (Renewed Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta); Major General Jeremiah Anthony (Movement for Actualisation of Niger Delta Republic); Major Francis Okoroafor (Niger Delta Freedom Redemption Army) and Colonel Nelson Okochi Walter. (The Sun)

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Quit Notice To Yoruba, Northerners In Niger Delta Stands – Militants |RN

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• Threaten to attack oil installations from September 10

From Fred Itua, Abuja

The coalition of Niger Delta Agitators, yesterday, reiterated its quit notice to Yoruba and northerners living in the region.

Besides, the coalition said plans have been concluded to protest disaffection with the current state of affairs in the country.

The protest is scheduled for all niger delta states, from September 12, 2017.

The group declared that it has the backing of over 500 groups for the protest and warned that markets, schools and other public institutions would not be opened from that day.

The militants also said the All Progressives Congress (APC) administration has failed to commission a single road project or improve on the epileptic power situation in the country, among other infrastructure, since its inauguration on May 29, 2015.

The agitators, in a statement which had the endorsement of heads of the groups in the coalition, said they will carry out threats to cripple economic activities in oil-producing states.

Signatories to the statement included General Ekpo Ekpo (Niger Delta Volunteers); General Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors); Major General Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters); Major General Asukwo Henshaw (Bakassi Freedom Fighters);

Major General Ibinabo Horsfall (Niger Delta Movement for Justice); Major General Duke Emmanson (Niger Delta Fighters Network); Major General Inibeghe Adams (Niger Delta Freedom Mandate); Major General Abiye Tariah (Niger Delta Development Network) and Major General Joshua Ebere (Renewed Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta).

Others were Major General Jeremiah Anthony (Movement for Actualisation of Niger Delta Republic); Major Francis Okoroafor (Niger Delta Freedom Redemption Army) and Colonel Nelson Okochi Walter.

“The Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators has concluded arrangement for a mass protest. We have concluded plans and have the backing of over 500 groups, and we want to warn everyone that would not be part of the protest to stay indoors, all shops, markets, businesses, schools, parks and companies should remain lock as we cannot guarantee that the protest is going to be peaceful because we shall resist any attempt by security forces to destabilise the protest.

“Our quit notice remains valid, we have not withdrawn it.

“Our attention has been drawn to the publication in some national newspapers of Friday, September 1, 2017, that we, Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators mandated one Chief Mike Loyibo of Pan Niger Delta Peoples’ Congress (PNDPC) to withdraw the quit notice on our behalf.

“We want to state here clearly that we did not, at any point in time, appoint or mandate anyone to withdraw any quit notice on our behalf neither did the self-acclaimed leader of PNDPC ever meet with us or our representative to discuss any matter relating to quitting notice. 

“Our quit notice stands… We cannot work with PNDPC or PANDEF. We stand by our previous statements.

“The quit notice we issued to northerners and Yoruba remain valid.

“As a matter of fact, our strike team are already prepared and positioned to start the attack on oil facilities in the Niger Delta from September 10, 2017, in preparation for our planned declaration of Niger Delta Republic on October 1, 2017.”  (The Sun)

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Re-arrest Nnamdi Kanu And Face Consequences, Militants Dare FG |RN

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From: Tony John Port Harcourt

Niger Delta militants have warned the Federal Government of the dangers the country would face, if the Leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, is re-arrested by security agents.

The militants also gave the government a two-week ultimatum to release two members of IPOB, Chidiebere Onwudiwe and Bright Chimezie, who had been in detention, threatening to commence attack after the expiration. 

The militants, consisting of members of Niger Delta People Democratic Front (NDPDF),  Concerned Militant Leaders (CML) and Rainbow Marabas (RM),  gave the warning yesterday in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, after their crucial meeting.

Leaders of the groups identified as General Iyoyo Playboy (NDPDF), General Ben (CML) and General Billy Anaeja, warned that re-arrest of Kanu would cause spontaneous attacks in major states in the country.

The group further accused the Federal Government of playing politics with the lives of Nigerians, particularly people from South East and South-South geopolitical zones. A statement jointly issued by Iyoyo, Ben and Anaeja, through their tweet handle, flayed the Federal Government for exhibiting hatred on the regions and individuals that expressed dissatisfaction with the All Progressives Congress (APC) style of administration.

They stated: “Federal Government has shown, through its moves to re-arrest Nnamdi Kanu, that it does not value lives of Nigerians. The government wants to use the attempt to re-arrest the IPOB Leader to escalate the crisis in the country. “If the government is serious, it should go ahead to arrest and wait for the result. We will back IPOB and give the group support in any form, even without them expecting it.”

“We learnt that Federal Government has deployed more security to the South-South and South-East geo-political zones because of Nnamdi Kanu. We dare them to go ahead and execute”, they warned.

They wondered why the Federal Government had remained silent over the activities of Northern youths against the Igbo and killings by Fulani herdsmen.

“What has Federal Government done about arresting Arewa youths, who hate the Igbo people with passion? What has Federal Government done with the Fulani herdsmen? How many of them have been arrested? Why is it silent, but is worried about a non-violent IPOB?

“We are reiterating our stand that we, the Niger Delta agitators, will resist any attempt to re-arrest the IPOB leader. We will resist FG and face the consequences. We are not begging those ruling not to go ahead and execute their plot”, the militants stressed.        (The Sun)

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Return Our Oil Blocks, We’re Tired Of Living With The North, Niger Delta Militants Tell FG,

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Archive photo

Chukwudi Akasike

A coalition of Niger Delta militants on Friday called on the Federal Government to return all oil blocks being controlled by northerners to the people of the oil-producing region.

The coalition comprises Niger Delta Watchdogs, Niger Delta Volunteers, Niger Delta Peoples Fighters, Niger Delta Warriors, Bakassi Freedom Fighters, Niger Delta Movement for Justice, Niger Delta Fighters Network and Niger Delta Freedom Mandate.

Leaders of the eight groups said in a statement that the Niger Delta region shall declare its independence on October 1, 2017, and free itself from enslavement by the North.

The militant leaders include John Duku (Niger Delta Watchdogs); Ekpo Ekpo (Niger Delta Volunteers): Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors) and Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters).

Others are Asukwo Henshaw (Bakassi Freedom Fighters); Ibinabo Horsfall (Niger Delta Movement for Justice); Duke Emmanson (Niger Delta Fighters Network) and Inibeghe Adams (Niger Delta Freedom Mandate).

In a statement released after their meeting in Port Harcourt, the militant leaders warned all companies operating on such oil blocks to vacate within three months.

The agitators explained that their action was based on the ultimatum given by some northern youth groups to the Igbo to vacate the North within three months.

The statement read, “A coalition of the Niger Delta militants met today in Port Harcourt to review the recent call by Arewa youth groups that the Ndigbo should vacate all the northern states within three months.

“We see the declaration by Arewa youths as a consultative declaration, which the northern elders, leaders, the political elite, security heads from the North and governors were fully aware of.

“We demand 100 per cent control of our resources. We demand that the Federal Government should hand over all oil blocks owned by the northerners to Niger Delta indigenes. All the companies operating in such oil blocks/wells should vacate within three months.

“The Federal Government should immediately relocate the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and all the offices that have to do with oil/gas sector back to Niger Delta states and immediately replace the Group Managing Director (of NNPC) with an indigene of Niger Delta.

“All northern indigenes working in NNPC and any other board that has anything to do with oil/gas should be sacked with immediate effect.

“We demand an independent and the sovereign Republic of Niger Delta. We are tired of living with the North under Nigeria. We are tired of the President’s sentiments to the Niger Delta people.

“The President can have time to receive the Chibok girls, but could not have time to meet with the Representatives of the Niger Delta agitators. Our money has been used to fund Boko Haram, a problem created by the northerners in order to use it as a conduit to syphon off the resources of Niger Delta.

“On October 1, 2017, we shall declare our independence, come rain, come shine. We shall take our destiny in our hands and free ourselves from the slavery of the North as they are tired of one Nigeria.”

They maintained that all the companies and businesses owned by the northerners in Niger Delta should be vacated within three months, saying, “From October 1, 2017, we don’t want to see any northerner close to (the) Niger Delta; any attempt to penetrate shall meet fierce resistance. This time, we are not going to play defence, but attack.”

They also called on all agitating groups to resume attacks and bombings of all oil and gas pipelines, especially the exporting lines across the Niger Delta region with immediate effect, saying the measure was aimed at ensuring zero oil and gas production before October 1, 2017.

They further said, “We also demand that the Federal Government should immediately replace the Inspector General of Police with an indigene of the South-West, the Director-General of the Department of State Services with an indigene of South-East, and the National Security Adviser with an indigene of South-South.

“The Speaker, House of Representatives should voluntarily resign and hand over to an indigene of the South-South.”   (Punchng.com)

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