By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South, Perez Brisibe and Emem Idio
YENAGOA- A militant group, Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders, NDRC, based in Bayelsa State, Wednesday, declared a two-week armistice within which it urged President Muhammadu Buhari to review his hard-line stance to consequential dialogue with militants and first-rate leaders of Niger Delta to prevent total devastation of crude oil export facilities.
This came as the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, accused ExxonMobil of telling lies about the bombing of its Qua Iboe 48-inch crude export pipeline on Monday evening.
Spokesperson of the militant group, self-appointed Brig Gen Mudoch Agbinibo, stated: “ExxonMobil can deny and fool the general public about their Export Pipeline blown, yesterday (Monday). How long can they lie to their investors? Just in matter of days, the whole world will see the truth. Qua Iboe 48” crude oil export pipeline is down, so said the Avengers.”
NDRC, which recently blew up the Brass Creek Manifold, the largest in West Africa, situated in Peretorugbene, Ekeremor local government area, Bayelsa state, said: “With clear evaluation of the happenings and advice of well- meaning Nigerians and Niger Delta stakeholders, we hereby declare a two- week ceasefire for a sincere and proper dialogue.”
Spokesperson of the group, WOI Izon-Ebi, said in a statement: “We want the Federal Government to consult distinguished personalities, royal fathers and chiefs of the Niger Delta communities. Government should disassociate itself from negotiating with political jobbers in Abuja, but come down to the Niger Delta communities.”
“If after the two weeks of ceasefire, nothing meaningful happens, we have no option but to redirect our next phase of action to the exporting terminals to stop total export of our resources.
“We hereby call on Mr. President to do the needful by being sincere to himself and Nigerians to engage in meaningful dialogue to ensure a lasting peace in the Niger Delta and Nigeria in particular,” it added.
NDRC asserted: “We have lived all our lives as victims and like fishes constantly immersed in pools of pollution, so it is no longer new to us,” adding, “Come to talk about explosion and degradation it does not start today, it has been for the past fifty (50) years. That is why the colonial masters pointed it out categorically clear to Nigerians before independence that the Ijaws and the Ogoni communities are priority areas of concentration and development by the Nigerian government.”
“All what we need is a clean environment devoid of pollution, development, good drinking water, motor-able roads cutting across our communities, electricity, universities, resource control,” it said.
The militant group, however, expressed reservation about the Minister of Transport, Rt Hon Rotimi Amaechi, saying, “He is taking his hatred against former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan and Ijaw nation too far, which is too bad for the peace and unity of Niger Delta and Nigeria in general.”
“Maybe Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, the current minister of Transport is not a good historian; otherwise, he should have known that the three higher institutions in his Ikwerre land except Rivers State Polytechnic were established by an Ijaw man, Chief Diette Spiff, the then military administrator of Rivers State. They are Rivers State University of Science and Technology and University of Port-Harcourt,” NDRC said.
“Why should a man that has three universities in his land, Ikwerre, recommend the scrapping of the one and only Maritime University in Ijaw land, which if fully operational will create qualified manpower to man the petroleum and maritime sectors. Is Rotimi Amaechi an instrument in the hands of Niger Delta oppressors manipulating him in order to achieve their Northern agenda? The militant group asked.