Bombing Of Pipelines, Oil Facilities May Resume In Niger Delta, Says Evah |RN

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Comrade Joseph Evah

•Nigeria won’t have peace without restructuring


The Federal Government has been advised to honour the terms of the agreements reached with leaders of the Niger-Delta during a recent meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo. The meeting which led to the suspension of the November 1 ultimatum to the Federal Government was put together by the Pan Niger-Delta Forum (PANDEF). An activist, and coordinator, Ijaw Monitoring Group, Comrade Joseph Evah, made the remarks in this interview with ’TUNDE THOMAS. He spoke on various issues.

What’s your reaction to the November 1 ultimatum to the Federal Government by the Pan-Niger-Delta Forum, PANDEF recently to meet its 16-point demand? Although the ultimatum has been withdrawn, the group earlier threatened it would suspend further talks with the Federal Government on issues relating to peace and development of the Niger-Delta region?

Although the ultimatum has been withdrawn following talks between PANDEF leaders led by Chief Edwin Clark and the Federal Government, it is unfortunate that the ultimatum had to be issued before Federal Government decided to swing into action.

Why did the Federal Government refuse to implement or show commitment to the implementation of PANDEF’s 16-point demand until PANDEF issued the ultimatum?

The major problem with our leaders and government is insincerity. The Federal Government promised to implement or start implementing some of these demands several months ago, but in its usual style, after making the promise, the Federal Government went to sleep and it took the PANDEF’s ultimatum before it was roused from its slumber. This is very unfortunate. It shows that some of these avoidable crises are a creation of the government itself.

The Federal Government refused to show respect to the people of Niger Delta and that’s why it refused to honour its pledge to the region’s leaders until the ultimatum was issued to push the government to take concrete action towards implementing those 16 demands that will serve as a catalyst for the development of Niger-Delta.

I commend our leaders led by Chief E. K. Clark for issuing that ultimatum because it was getting to a situation where the people of Niger-Delta were getting frustrated with them and were even accusing PANDEF leaders of not being forceful enough in its demands. Some were even thinking that PANDEF leaders had sold out. It was when the ultimatum was issued that many Niger-Deltans believe that it was the Federal Government that was not showing a genuine commitment to the implementation of promises and assurances given to PANDEF leaders.

But that ultimatum was condemned by the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger-Delta, MEND, and some other prominent Nigerians who described it as unnecessary and a kind of blackmail. They further accused PANDEF leaders, especially Chief Clark of looking the other way and not complaining about underdevelopment of the Niger-Delta when former President Goodluck Jonathan, a Niger-Deltan was in office, what’s your take on this?

Don’t mind those critics of PANDEF. They are hypocrites. One thing people should realize is this, in any struggle, you will always have some people being sponsored to disorganize the genuine agitations or struggle. This is what is happening in the case of PANDEF.

PANDEF is the only genuine group the people of Niger-Delta recognize. Not only that, the people of the Niger-Delta have put their trust in PANDEF leaders to handle negotiations on their behalf with the Federal Government. Forget what MEND and those other critics are saying. PANDEF leaders are our recognized leaders in Niger-Delta. We won’t allow any group or individual to break our ranks or sow seeds of discord among us. We have high regards for Chief E. K. Clark. He is our undisputable leader, no matter whatever anybody says about him. Clark is our hero, a patriot and true leader of the Niger-Delta.

One thing is this, in any struggle, you will have some dubious groups and individuals being used to scuttle the genuine struggle. These are people we refer to as saboteurs. This is not the first time it will happen. It happened during the June 12 struggle when M.K.O. Abiola was betrayed, it happened during the early struggle for development and emancipation of the Niger-Delta, and we all remembered how the military hanged late Ken Saro-Wiwa for leading the struggle against the injustices in the Niger-Delta. Ken Saro-Wiwa was betrayed. Any group or individual that condemns PANDEF should be regarded as saboteurs. Anybody or group that condemns PANDEF is being sponsored to derail the genuine agitations for the development of Niger-Delta, such groups or individuals should not be taken seriously. They are enemies of Niger-Delta.

What if the issue of PANDEF leaders looking the other way and not talking during the six years of Jonathan’s administration?

People saying that need to go and re-examine their heads. People should stop being unfair to Jonathan. They should stop accusing him of not developing Niger-Delta.

For several years, Gowon, Murtala Muhammed, IBB, General Sani Abacha and Abdusalam Abubakar were presidents and heads of state of Nigeria, but for all the decades they were in office, what did all those leaders who come from the North do for the Northern region? Nothing. Today, poverty is rampant in the North. North is suffering serious underdevelopment, despite all the donkey years that Gowon, IBB, Abdusalam, Murtala Muhammed and Abacha spent in the office.

Today, the problem of insecurity is more pronounced in the North than any other region in Nigeria. You have Boko Haram insurgency there, and all these leaders I have mentioned, have they been able to do anything about it? No.

What about the Almajiri problem in the North? The menace of Almajiri has been there for decades, and for all the years that all these leaders from the North were in power, were they able to tackle it? What of the problem of illiteracy, infrastructural facilities, decay or even lack of it, were they able to address or tackle all these problems? As we are talking today, you get to some areas in the North, pupils are still learning under trees. They show you some classrooms from the North and you see students sitting down on the bare floor to receive lectures. So you ask these leaders from the North why did they fail to transform the North into Dubai of Africa when they were in power.

Jonathan was in office for just six years, and people were expecting miracles from him. Jonathan’s critics are being unfair to him. Some of Jonathan’s critics need to undergo psychiatric tests.

Was it not even during Jonathan’s era that Lagos-Ibadan expressway that has become a deathtrap over the years was repaired and given a face lift; when Obasanjo a Yoruba man was President for eight years he abandoned that road. Not only that Obasanjo abandoned his own state, Ogun State. During Obasanjo’s time, roads in Ogun State were so terrible that whenever he came home from Abuja, he usually took a helicopter from Lagos to his Ota Farms and Abeokuta. Jonathan deserves respect. He should be given his dues. It is only in Nigeria that you see people who call themselves professors or PhD holders talking like children.

When Obasanjo was there, what did Obasanjo do for the South West? Nothing and I stand to be challenged. Apart from the construction of the Presidential Library which is his personal property, Obasanjo did nothing for the South West.

When Obasanjo was military Head of State, the only project he executed or got for the South West was the Ota Farm, which personally belongs to him. But today, when Obasanjo moves about, people eulogise him and give him awards. The same thing for IBB, Gowon and Abdusalam Abubakar; people sing praises of them, but what did all these past leaders achieve or do to transform their regions? Nothing. Go to the North, move into the hinterlands of the North; poverty, hunger, and underdevelopment are more pronounced there than in any other region in Nigeria, and yet the Northern region has produced more leaders than any other region in the country.

People should stop their provocative attitudes on Jonathan. They are being unfair to the man. Jonathan deserves the same respect being given to Gowon, IBB and Obasanjo. Nigerians should give him his dues.

On Chief E. K. Clark, I want to say enough is enough. People should stop disrespecting Clark; Papa Clark is our hero, our own icon. Clark is a selfless leader who loves the people of Niger-Delta and the people also love him and that’s why they accept him as their leader.

But Chief E. K. Clark was accused of making so much money during Jonathan’s era that he even built a private university, married a new wife and …

Yes, what’s wrong with that? Is Pa E. K. Clark at 90 too young to own a private university? Do these people talk rubbish about the old man know about E.K. Clark’s pedigree? Chief E. K. Clark is an accomplished Nigerian. He was a former state commissioner. He was also a former senator and he was also a former minister of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. Clark is also the foremost Ijaw leader. Are these people saying a man with such prestigious record and credentials can’t own a private university? This is why I said earlier that some of these critics need to undergo psychiatric tests.

We will not allow anybody to rubbish or blackmail Chief E. K. Clark. All the private universities in this country, who are the owners? Are they more important or more eminent than Chief E. K. Clark? This is one of the injustices against the Ijaws and people of Niger-Delta. What do some Nigerians take the people of Niger-Delta to be? That we are paupers and second class citizens in Nigeria? God forbid.

Look at the case of oil block ownership in Nigeria; oil is found in Niger-Delta, but the irony of it all is that no Niger-Delta indigene owns an oil block. Rather it is Nigerians from other regions that own the oil wells. What an insult! For example, General T. Y. Danjuma from the North, not because of any other accomplishment but because he was a military leader was given an oil block, while Chief E. K. Clark has none. It is because political leaders from the Niger-Delta are not united, that’s why they are perpetrating all these injustices against us. What about the richest woman in Africa, Mrs Folorunsho Alakija who owns an oil well in Bayelsa State. Alakija single-handedly sponsored Babangida University in Minna because she got oil block from IBB’s government.

But some Nigerians are saying that the Niger-Delta appears to be asking for too much in that PANDEF’s 16-point demands, what’s your view on that?

That’s very unfair to the people of the Niger-Delta. It was the Federal Government that invited Niger-Delta leaders for discussion in the first place, and if you go for a discussion, there must be a give-and-take in your discussion. But the Federal Government later slowed down and kept the Niger-Delta leaders in suspense.

The people of Niger-Delta thereafter started asking their leaders about the talks with the Federal Government. People were expecting to see signs of the Federal Government’s commitment to the talks, but none was visible.

For example, the Federal Government promised to kick-start Maritime University at Okereonkoko, but as we are talking now, nothing has been done. It is a case of empty promise. Since no visible projects by the Federal Government have been seen, some Niger-Delta people started asking Niger-Delta leaders if they had collected bribe from the Federal Government so they could keep quiet. This is one of the reasons that ultimatum was issued by PANDEF.

Niger-Delta people are not blackmailing the Federal Government, it is a government that is reneging on its promise to the people.

The Federal Government has been releasing some Boko Haram suspects under the guise of brokering a peace deal, even Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader was released on bail, but some Niger-Delta indigenes are still languishing in detention, rotting away in jail. Is that not another case of injustice. If Kanu is granted bail and Boko Haram suspects are released, what prevents the Federal Government from releasing Niger-Delta political detainees like Edward Eduware, Charles Okah and Henry Okah? If the Federal Government is applying a political solution to problems of Nigeria by releasing Kanu and Boko Haram suspects, then our own children from the Niger-Delta in detention should also be released? The South East took up their struggle, today Nnamdi Kanu is on bail. I also was among those that fought for Kanu’s bail. But what about Ijaw people in detention like Eduware and Okah brothers?

These are some of the injustices our leaders in PANDEF are trying to address, and the Federal Government should be seen to be fair to all.

Chief E. K. Clark is our own mouth-piece. Niger-Delta people want dialogue and not violence, and therefore, it will be wrong to describe those who want peace as trouble makers. As we speak now, the Federal Ministry of Finance is starving the Amnesty Programme office of funds.

Are you saying the Amnesty Programme is being underfunded?

Yes, and it is being very unfair to the people of Niger-Delta. It is obvious that some people in this present administration are not happy with the Amnesty Programme, and if they actually have their way, they would scrap it. But is this not another case of injustice against the people of Niger-Delta?

Since 1989, nomadic education programme has been going on in the northern parts of the country. Jibril Aminu who was then Minister of Education under Gen. Ibrahim Babangida introduced nomadic education.

How many people from Niger-Delta own oil block? None.

If it is Asari Dokubo that declared that he doesn’t know what to do with money again, they would declare him a criminal. Dan Etete, an indigene of Niger-Delta applied for oil block and licence, they denied him while people from the North and other parts of the country have oil blocks. Is this not an injustice? Those of us who have oil in our backyard are denied oil licence whereas people who don’t have oil at all in their areas are being given our oil wells. Is that not injustice? Is it not unfair for people to say that Niger-Delta people are asking for too much? We are not asking for too much, but demanding our rights.

Some people have expressed fears that militancy might return to the Niger-Delta if there is no breakthrough in talks between the Federal Government and PANDEF, what’s your take on that?

We don’t want militancy to resume and that is why our leaders have been meeting with the Federal Government.

But what can guarantee sustainable peace is for the Federal Government to do the needful in Niger-Delta. If these injustices against our people are addressed, there will be peace, but if the Federal Government chooses not to fulfil its own obligations to the people, then the Federal Government should be held responsible for any consequences. There is no guarantee that bombings and militancy will not resume in Niger-Delta if the Federal Government fails to honour its promises to the people.

What is your reaction to the recent rejection of devolution of power by the Senate?

I’m disappointed, likewise others especially those from the southern part of the country. Rejection of devolution of power is also another way of rejecting restructuring. The Senate is playing with fire by rejecting devolution of power. Without restructuring, we are not going anywhere. Without restructuring, agitations here and there will not go away. Nigeria will not have peace unless we restructure.

The Senate had a golden opportunity to do the needful but missed it. It is only a true practice of federalism as enshrined in the Constitution of the First Republic that can move this nation forward.

Some of our former leaders like General Yakubu Gowon, General Babangida and former President Olusegun Obasanjo have been appealing to Nigerians to let peace reign following recurring violence and series of crises here and there in different parts of the country; how do you see these appeals?

Gowon, Obasanjo and IBB are hypocrites. Why are they suing for peace now when they were the source of Nigeria’s headache? Don’t mind these people, if they had done what they were supposed to have done when they were in power, Nigeria will not be in this terrible mess. Actually, some of our former leaders laid the foundation of the current crises facing the nation.

When these leaders were in power, they didn’t  listen to advice, those who will tell them the truth and give them the right advice, they chase them away. They were acting as if they were God. Nigerians should not take them seriously. When they were in power, you couldn’t even talk to them. They were very arrogant and unreachable.

Look at somebody like Obasanjo; see how he treated those people that were accused alongside with him for plotting that phantom coup. When Obasanjo became president after he had been granted pardon, he promised to help these people but for eight years he was in power, he did nothing about the case of these people.

Obasanjo knew that these people were falsely accused like him, yet he refused to help them. All the former leaders of Nigeria were bad managers, and that’s why Nigeria is where we are today. I would have even said these leaders should offer the nation an apology for putting Nigeria in this mess, but if you ask them to apologise, they will tell you that it is even Nigerians that are owing them an apology. The only way to move this country forward is to restructure. There is no alternative to restructuring. True federalism was working well for us in the First Republic, but the military came and truncated it.

Today, Nigeria is in crisis because we jettisoned true practice of federalism. For peace to reign, people have been clamouring for restructuring but it appears some forces that are benefitting from the status quo are bent on frustrating any attempt to restructure, and it is the same forces at play that manipulated or used the Senate to jettison demands for devolution of power. What we all don’t know is that we are all sitting on a keg of gun powder which can explode anytime. I’m not a prophet of doom, but there is no way we can continue like this and believe that all is well with our nation. The earlier we realize and accept the truth, the better. Nigeria is in dire need of fundamental changes that will guarantee lasting peace and ensure that genuine unity and harmony prevail among the different ethnic nationalities that make up the nation. (The Sun)

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Quit Notice: Northerners, Yoruba Must Leave Niger-Delta By October 1st |RN

The Republican News

Niger Delta Militants give quit notice

• Niger Delta militants order them to leave before October 1

From Fred Itua, Abuja

The Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators (CNDA), yesterday, handed an ultimatum to Northerners and Yoruba residing in the region to relocate to their regions before October 1.

The coalition also said it would resume bombing of major oil and gas installations from September 10 as a preparation for the actualisation of Niger Delta Republic.

The coalition made of up eight groups also dissociated itself from the leadership and membership of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) and warned the Federal Government to stop dealing with the Coalition of elders and leaders of the regions on their behalf.

PANDEF led by leaders of Niger Delta, including a former federal commissioner for information, Chief Edwin Clarke, met twice with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo recently at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. The meeting was principally to articulate lasting solutions to the challenges of the people in the region.

But in a statement signed by the leaders of the groups, the agitators said that they had resolved to declare the Republic of Niger Delta on October 1, and ordered the Federal Government to return all the oil wells given to non-indigenes of the region.

The CNDA commended Yoruba for their intention to declare the Oduduwa Republic, and pledged to work with the South East and Middle Belt to achieve economic and diplomatic developments.

Signatories to the statement included General John Duku (Niger Delta Watchdogs and convener, CNDA); General Ekpo Ekpo (Niger Delta Volunteers); General Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors) and Major-Gen. Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters).

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

The statement read: “At the general council meeting of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators (CNDA) involving surveillance department, intelligence department and commanding officers held today to deliberate on the recent development in the Niger Delta and Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) meeting with the acting president, after hours of careful deliberations, we unanimously resolved as follows:

“To commence operation zero oil in the Niger Delta from September 10, 2017, as a preparation for the actualization of Niger Delta Republic;

“We totally condemn the recent meeting between PANDEF and the Acting President; we see it as another plot to deceive the Niger Delta people. First and foremost, the meeting was marred with the inordinate greed of the PANDEF, as they did not involve the representatives of the agitating groups and youths leaders. We wish to let the acting president to know that those he met have no capacity and cannot solve the current crisis in the Niger Delta; therefore they cannot represent the militants or speak for the Niger Delta people;

“The Coalition unanimously adopts to stand by the previous demands, which are: 100 per cent percent control of our resources.

“The Federal Government should hand over all oil blocks owned by the Northerners/Yoruba to Niger Delta indigenes.

“All oil companies operating in such oil blocs/wells should vacate by October 1st, 2017.”

The group also ordered the relocation of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to any of the Niger Delta states and replacement of the Group Managing Director with an indigene of the region.

“All the multinational oil, gas, servicing and marine companies must relocate their operational base to the Niger Delta, sign a new Memorandum of Understanding with Niger Delta people which would include Niger Delta indigenes being paid same salaries with foreigners.

“We demand independence and sovereign Republic of Niger Delta, all the companies and business owned by the Northerners /Yorubas in Niger Delta should be vacated before 1st October 2017, we accept and congratulate the Yorubas for demanding the Oduduwa Republic and we wish them success.”

CNDA called on all agitating groups to resume attacks/bombings on all oil/gas pipelines, especially the exporting lines across the Niger Delta region from September 10, 2017.

This, it said, is to ensure zero oil/gas production before October 1, 2017.

The statement added: “We shall work to interface with more patriotic and zealous Niger Delta people to work out a new collective approach that will ensure total freedom and complete control of our resources by any means necessary.

“We shall from henceforth, fight to liberate ourselves from the shackles of neo-colonialism and rule ourselves under the Niger Delta Republic, with diplomatic and economic relations with the peoples of the South East and Middle Belt.

“Finally, we want to inform the federal government of Nigeria and the general public that we no longer recognize PANDEF under the present leadership as they are working against the interest of the Niger Delta people.”

The quite order by the Niger Delta group followed an earlier 90-day ultimatum issued by a coalition of Arewa youth group, Coalition of Northern Youths (CNY) to all Igbo to relocate from the 19 northern states by October 1.

Following the ultimatum, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo held series of peace-building meetings with leaders and elders of the North and the South East.  (The Sun)

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Niger Delta Threatens To Pull Out Of Peace Negotiations With FG If …. |RN

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Chief Edwin Clarke

From: Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja

The pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has threatened to pull out of peace negotiations with the Federal Government if it does not address its 16-point.

It accused the Federal Government of not reciprocating the efforts of elders in the region to stabilise oil production and help the country out of recession, insisting that government has not demonstrated enough faith in the peace process.

National Leader/Co-Convener of PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark, made this declaration at a press conference, in Abuja, on Monday, giving the Federal Government ultimatum of November 1, 2017, to meet their demands.

November 1 would make it exactly one year the group submitted  16-Point Agenda to President Muhammadu Buhari- led by Clark and King Alfred Diete Spiff, who co-chairs the group.

While acknowledging that Acting President Yemi Osinbajo had given a firm commitment after his visit to the region, Clark regretted that the government has failed to take steps to implement what was agreed upon thereby putting Niger Delta leaders under pressure from their people.

He said: “I wish to urge the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, implement the pronouncements made by the Acting President, His Excellency, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN), during his fact-finding visits to the Niger Delta Region, and to set up, without delay, the Federal Government Dialogue Team to engage PANDEF, towards resolving the pending issues contained in the Forum’s 16-Point Demands on behalf of the people of the Niger Delta Region, by, or before, November 1, 2017 (one year anniversary of our meeting with His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari.

“Human endurance has a limit beyond which one cannot predict what the outcome will be.

“We submitted a 16-point Demand to Mr President on November 1, 2016, and we had expected that by its next anniversary, the 16-Point Agenda would have been comprehensive sorted out.

“If at the expiration of November 1, 2017, ultimatum, the Federal Government fails and/or refuses to accede to these lawful and legitimate demands of the Niger Delta people, PANDEF may consider pulling out of the ongoing peace process in the Niger Delta.”

Clark while accusing government of not demonstrating enough faith in the peace process said,  “Unfortunately, however, it is a matter of regret to note that, the efforts of PANDEF to help Nigeria climb out of recession through a stable oil and gas production regime, have not been met with tangible reciprocal action by the Federal Government.

“Indeed, through PANDEF intervention, the people of the Niger Delta Region have demonstrated tremendous patriotism and goodwill towards the current Administration.

“This is in spite of our being placed at a disadvantaged and marginalized position, even on issues concerning the oil and gas industry.”  (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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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.”   (

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MEND Blasts Jonathan Over Niger Delta Development |The Republican News


Former President, Dr Goodluck Jonathan

From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has blamed former President Goodluck Jonathan for frittering away the opportunity to develop the Niger Delta during his presidency.

MEND, in a statement by Jomo Gbomo, in reaction to a ruling by Justice Gabriel Kolawole of the Federal High Court, Abuja, which dropped treasonable charges against Mr Charles Okah, said the judgment has vindicated the Okah brothers.

Gbomo, who pointed out that “the seven years trial is another example of the slow pace of justice system in Nigeria,” commended the judgment for being “clear, thoughtful and cultivated ruling.”

Insisting that MEND had no hand, whatsoever, in plans to assassinate Jonathan, the group maintained that the former president did nothing to uplift the Niger Delta region.

The statement reads in part: “Indeed, since after the unfortunate incident of October 1, 2010, former President Jonathan has been going all around the world, labelling and slandering the Okah brothers as masterminds of an imaginary assassination attempt on his life. We are, therefore, sufficiently convinced that Justice Kolawole’s ruling has vindicated the Okah brothers.

“For the avoidance of doubt, MEND has no interest whatsoever in any plot to assassinate the former president. Rather, our grouse with the former president borders on the fact that he single-handedly frittered away the golden opportunity bestowed on him by providence to emancipate the Niger Delta.”    (The Sun)

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Controversy Trails Recovation Of Oil Blocks Belonging To Niger Deltans By Buhari

                             President Muhammadu Buhari

Okechukwu Nnodim, Abuja

President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval of the withdrawal of Oil Prospecting Licences 2001, 2002 and 2003 in the Utapate Field won by indigenes of the Niger Delta is not only being tackled by the investors but may lead to chaos in the oil-rich region if not properly addressed.

According to the investors, about N44.6bn signature bonuses paid for the licences is also under threat following the approval of the President to withdraw the OPLs from the winners who emerged after the Federal Government opened up the oil blocks to bidders in the 2007 bid rounds.

Related: Unease In Niger Delta Over Revocation Of Oil Blocks Allocated To Indigenes

After winning the bids for the blocks, the bid round was stalled for eight years by litigation until it was resolved amicably in 2015, before the Department of Petroleum Resources handed OPLs 2001, 2002 and 2003 to Jahcon International Limited, Hi Rev Exploration and Production Limited and Oil and Industrial Services Limited, respectively.

In the letters, which were issued to the investors on June 16, 2015, copies of which were made available to journalists in Abuja on Monday, the DPR confirmed the three investors as successful bidders for the blocks and directed them to make the required payments as signature bonuses for the licences.

Jahcon International Limited and Oil and Industrial Services Limited made complete payments, while Hi Rev Exploration and Production Limited made part payment and is in the process of completing its transaction with the DPR.

But despite these processes and payments, the President approved a request by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation demanding the withdrawal of the licences from the investors and handing over the oil blocks to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, a subsidiary of the NNPC.

The approval, according to the investors in the oil blocks, has raised tension in the Niger Delta region, particularly in Akwa Ibom communities where the oil field is located, as youths in the area have vowed to resist attempts by the government to deny indigenes of the area the right to the OPLs.

In the NNPC’s letter of request to Buhari, which was dated December 20, 2016, and made available to journalists, the corporation’s boss, Maikanti Baru, acknowledged that OPLs 2001, 2002 and 2003 in Oil Mining Lease 13, which were recovered from Shell by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo, were “inadvertently revoked” and “back-converted to greenfield OPL before being resized into OPLs 2001, 2002 and 2003 and offered under the 2007 licensing round.”

But the investors argued that Maikanti’s letter, which insisted that the OPLs belonged to the NPDC, did not disclose that the firm also submitted a bid for one of the blocks in the 2007 open licensing round, but lost as a result of low bid.

They argued that Baru’s claim that the oil field belonged to the NPDC (a core partner in the field when it was operated by Shell) was baseless on the ground that the government revoked the possession of the oil field by Shell and opened it up to investors in the 2007 bid rounds.

Buhari approved the request the same day that the letter was brought to him by Baru, which was on December 20, 2016, and his comment on the request was “GMD, prayer approved.”

A copy of the letter obtained by our correspondent in Abuja was signed on the same day by the President.

Similarly, the Chief of Staff to the President, Abba Kyari, on the same December 20, 2016, wrote a letter to the NNPC boss conveying the President’s approval of the corporation’s request with respect to the withdrawal of the OPLs from the awardees and handing it over to the NPDC.

On December 21, 2016, Baru wrote a letter to the DPR conveying the presidential approval for the restoration of the oil field to the NPDC.

The Director of DPR, Mr. Mordecai Ladan, wrote two letters, dated February 15, 2017, informing Jahcon International Limited and Oil and Industrial Services Limited of the revocation of the acreages, citing “a review of the reconversion process of the former OML 13 to OPLs 2001, 2002 and 2003.”

When contacted, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, told our correspondent that the case was in court and that the corporation and its subsidiary, the NPDC, would abide by the rulings of the court.

He stated that the case had also been taken to the National Assembly by the investors, adding that the corporation would do all that was necessary to ensure that an amicable solution was reached.

Ughamadu said, “The matter is in court and we have our representation in the High Court here in Abuja. They (investors) have rushed the matter to the High Court, Abuja and to the National Assembly, so what do they want done? They should always remember that the President is the Minister of Petroleum Resources and at times, he takes decisions based on facts presented to him.

“I don’t want to comment on what they are dishing out because we are already in court. We have made two appearances in court on this matter. It is only the court that resolves issues like this and if it rules tomorrow that the decision taken on Party ‘A’ is wrong, then, we will abide by the ruling of the court.

“This, however, is subject to the advice of our legal adviser, because the corporation is a law abiding corporate institution. If they want to exhaust the case in court, they should go ahead; but if they want public debate on it, they should also go ahead, for they are also at the National Assembly on this matter.” (

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Asari Dokubo Pays Heartfelt Tribute To Niger-Deltan Biafran Heroes


Asari Dokubo

Asari Dokubo, a firebrand supporter of Biafra independence and strong and vociferous leader of the Niger-Delta People’s Volunteer Force felt very strong to pay his tribute to heroes of Biafra, whose origin are from the current day Niger-Delta
Here is his tribute:
This month is Biafra month.I have started my tributes to the most resilient and uncelebrated Biafrans.Today I will celebrate three distinguished Biafra gentlemen who rejected the Rivers and South Eastern(later renamed Cross River) states dangled as bait to them on 27 May 1967 and chose Biafra.
1.Matthew Tawo Mbu from Ogoja was Biafra foreign minister from start to finish.
2.Capt Willy Murray-Bruce was the second in command of the Biafra Air Force.This Ijaw man fought to the last breath to defend his country.
3.Ambassador Ignatius Kogbara was Biafra envoy to London. This incredible Ogoni man saw the future but unfortunately his kinsman Ken Saro-Wiwa did not believe him. He was the very last Biafran to surrender.
Nigeria will never be able to successfully rewrite the history of this 3 wise men.
Next time, I will celebrate the father of Biafra; Biafra provincial administrator of Yenagoa; Mr Frank Opigo.
He gave the country its name!

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