Coalition Of Niger Delta Militants Insists Northerners Must Leave Or…
In retaliation for the order issued by Northern youth organisations to the Igbos in the north to quit the region by October 1, a coalition of Niger Delta militants has insisted that all northerners must leave the oil-rich region.
The coalition of Niger Delta militants re-issued the order despite acting President Yemi Osinbajo’s warning against hate speeches and threats from any part of the country.
The group re-echoed its declaration yesterday, June 15, after it rose from a meeting in Port Harcourt, Rivers State. The militants also demanded an immediate return of oil blocs owned by northerners to the Niger Delta people.
At the joint meeting between the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators and youth leaders across the region to review the state of the nation, the militant leaders also threatened that all oil and gas companies operating in oil wells illegally owned by northerners should vacate such blocs, wells and platforms before October 1, 2017.
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In a statement released on Thursday, the coalition of Niger Delta militants under the aegis of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators, berated the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, Inspector General of Police, Department of State Services and the Army for not arresting those who issued an ultimatum to Igbos to leave the north.
“We condemn in totality the meeting held by the Acting President with some northern elders and youths. We see it as a grand conspiracy.
“A responsible government should have arrested those traitors, but our government rather turned around to meet with them and pleaded for peace; does the Nigerian government see people from other zones as second-class citizens?
“Why are they more important to the Acting President, why is it that the Nigerian law is always weak when it involves the northerners? We are still watching the unfolding events with keen interest,” the militants said.
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Signatories of the statement issued in Port Harcourt, who gathered under the aegis of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators, are John Duku (Niger Delta Watchdogs), Ekpo Ekpo (Niger Delta Volunteers), Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors), Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters), and Asukwo Henshaw (Bakassi Freedom Fighters).
Others are Ibinabo Horsfall (Niger Delta Movement for Justice), Duke Emmanson (Niger Delta Fighters Network), Inibeghe Adams (Niger Delta Freedom Mandate), and Ibinabo Tariah (Niger Delta Development Network).
The militants had earlier said they were fully prepared to declare the Sovereign Republic of Niger Delta on October 1, 2017, and therefore called on all their compatriots to remain focused, united and steadfast.
According to the coalition of Niger Delta militants, the liberation of the people of the region from the alleged slavery of Nigeria remains their primary target.
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The coalition said:
“As a follow-up on our previous press release, a joint meeting between the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators and youth leaders across the Niger Delta region held today (Thursday) in Port Harcourt to review the state of the Nigerian nation and the position of Niger Delta in the Nigerian state. After hours of deliberation; we hereby resolve as follows:
“We want to sound this as a warning to all the northerners living in Niger Delta to quit our land before October 1, 2017, as this is not just a threat. After October 1, 2017, any northerner found within the Republic of Niger Delta shall be seen as an intruder and shall be treated as such.
“We also use this opportunity to advise oil & gas companies in our territory to shut down further operations, PENGASSAN and NUPENG to warn/withdraw their members from Niger Delta before October 1, 2017, or risk their lives. Our next action will surprise you.
“We still stand by our previous decisions and we demand the immediate return of the oil blocs owned by northerners to Niger Delta people.
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“All oil and gas companies operating in oil bloc(s)/well(s) illegally owned by northerners should also vacate such oil blocs/wells/platforms before October 1, 2017.
“We demand an immediate relocation of the NNPC headquarters to the Niger Delta and the replacement of the Group Managing Director of the NNPC with an indigene of the Niger Delta region. All offices/boards/agencies that have anything to do with oil and gas should be relocated immediately to the Niger Delta region and all non-Niger Delta directors/staff replaced with Niger Delta indigenes,”
Meanwhile, Acting President Osinbajo will convene a joint meeting of northern leaders and their Igbo counterparts next week in continuation of efforts to resolve the impasse and tension created by the quit notice to Igbo people living in the northern part of the country by the Arewa youths.
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Chief Nnia Nwodo, the President-General of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, who made this known yesterday, pleaded with all Igbos to remain calm and patient in the face of the tension created by the ultimatum, noting that Osinbajo had allayed their fear and assured them that the Federal Government would be fair to all.
Nwodo, who was accompanied by some Igbo leaders, including the former governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Prof. Charles Soludo and Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Nsukka, Most Rev. Prof. Godfrey Onah, spoke as they arrived at the Akanu Ibiam International Airport yesterday from Abuja.
He told reporters that the acting president offered ample explanations to the Igbo leaders on the areas of concern they had raised, including their perceived feeling that the Igbos were being treated as second-class citizens in their own country.