A coalition of 10 militant groups in the Niger Delta region have threatened to resume fresh attacks on oil installations across the region which could pose serious problems for the county’s economy.
The threat issued Sunday, September 10, by the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) said it was working in coalition with nine other militant groups according to Vanguard reports.
The RNDA called on Nigerians not to celebrate the country’s emergence from recession, warning that it is ready to launch well-coordinated attacks on oil installations and cause economic problems for Nigeria.
The leader of RNDA and convener of the coalition of militants, Major General John Mark Ezonbi, restated the two-week ultimatum given to the federal government to open talks with the Pan Niger Delta People’s Congress, (PNDPC) led by the former National Chairman of the Traditional Rulers of Oil, Minerals Producing Communities of Nigeria, TROMPCON, His Majesty Charles Ayemi-Botu.
The group said: “RNDA in coalition with nine other militant groups, led by Major General John Mark Ezonbi at a crucial meeting held at the creeks of Benin River expressed its readiness to carry out its threat to bring down crude oil productions to zero level, which accompanied its ultimatum to the Federal Government.”
“RNDA has withdrawn the one- week ultimatum given to the leader of the disbanded PANDEF leader, Chief E K Clark and one Alfred Mulade, self- styled Coordinating Secretary of PANDEF, following pleas from well- respected stakeholders since they failed to come out to state categorically the militants that gave them the mandate to dialogue on behalf of the region.”
“Nobody apologized to Clark as insinuated by Mulade in a national daily, rather it is Clark that has called different people and begging them to support his disbanded leadership of PANDEF.”
Ezonbi cautioned the ministers of petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu and the minister of Niger Delta affairs, Usani Uguru, against taking the ceasefire agreement with militants for granted.
The group faulted the government for holding a meeting called Niger Delta council meeting in Ondo state, adding that it was against meetings and wanted practical development implemented in the Niger Delta region.
The militants accused the federal government of implementing policies intended to kill the economy of the Niger Delta while exploiting the oil wealth of the region to develop other areas, particularly the north.
The militants demanded that the federal government should as a matter of urgency act quickly and address the following issues as stated below:
- The federal government should kick start the academic take off of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko this year
The Federal government should issue the 10 licenses for the takeoff of the Modular Refineries to HOSTCOM without further delay.
The federal government should immediately mobilize the contractor handling the East West Road, which links the entire south- south region to other parts of the country which is presently in a very deplorable condition.
The federal government should immediately award the pipeline surveillance contract directly to HOSTCOM as it would provide employment for the teeming youths of the region.
The federal government should immediately release the gas flaring penalty funds to oil producing communities in the region through HOSTCOM.
The federal government should urgently address the recent appointment of senior management staff of NNPC as clearly outlined in the Federal Character Commission
The federal government should urgently upgrade the Sea Ports in Burutu,Calaba Koko and Look as they have been abandoned for many years to frustrate the economic growth of the region.
The federal government should commence work on the EPZ project in Ogidigben and the Gbatamantu Deep Sea Port and immediately carry out repair works on the very bad Ekpoma Auchi Lokoja Express Road, the condition of the road has made the movement of goods and services very difficult for the people.
Meanwhile, the coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators (NCNDE) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to reshuffle his cabinet, saying it is in the nation’s interest.
NAN reports that in a statement by its national president, Israel Eshanekpe, on Sunday, September 10, in Abuja, the group said that the federal cabinet as presently constituted had “many disgruntled and disloyal persons”. It stated that unfaithful members of the cabinet were more than those who truly loved the president and all he represented. The group alleged that most persons in the All Progressives Congress (APC) were members of the opposition who were voted out of office by Nigerians in 2015.