By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South, Sam Oyandongha and Emem Idio
KAIAMA- ADAKA Boro Avengers, ABA, the militant group that caused a stir in the last few days with its threat to declare a Republic of Niger Delta, Monday, at Kaiama, Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, has gone back on the plan.
Findings by Vanguard showed that the military massively deployed personnel to the area and conducted stop and search operation on vehicles on the East-West Road and gateway into Bayelsa state, which probably made the militant group to beat a retreat.
However, spokesperson of the group, self-styled General Edmos Ayayeibo, in an electronic mail, said the militants suspended the declaration of an independent Republic of Niger Delta because of pleas by concerned elders, leaders and people of Niger Delta region.
Meanwhile, the Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative, IPDI, on Monday, called on Yoruba leaders to erased the misplaced notion that Niger Delta militants were behind the attacks in Lagos and Ogun states and called the Reformed Odua People’s Congress, ROPC, to order
Ayayeibi in the statement quoted ‘General’ Goddey, ABA leader, as saying: “We adhere to the voice of our people, because our struggle is for the Niger Delta people and not for selfish reason. However, this is not the end. More is yet to come. Our mission to cripple the economy of the Nigerian nation will not stop until the Nigerian government is ready to sit on a round-table to dialogue and to restructure the Nigeria.”
“Unless that, we will not stop until Nigeria becomes a zero economy. We are also saying this for the benefit of President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerian government to stop wasting their time with those greedy fellows that call themselves MEND because nothing good will come out of them rather than sabotage. Those old fools cannot stop us and they know it very well. We know what they are after is all about stipends.
“Everything they are saying, not even one will be accomplished. We will never agree with anything they say and henceforth MEND should watch their back because we have tolerated them for a very long time. Enough is enough, since they want to set confusion in the Niger Delta we will start from them,” the group said.
IPDI in a joint statement by the president and spokesperson, Austin Ozobo and Daniel Ezekiel respectively, said: “Our attention has been drawn to the mischievous blackmail against Niger elta region that the recent attacks on Lagos communities were perpetrated by Niger Delta militants.”
“We want to unequivocally state that those militants attacking communities in Lagos are South-West militants and not Niger- Delta militants. It is not possible for Niger Delta militants to travel from Niger Delta region with heavy weapons to South-West to carry out attacks without security agents arresting them.
“Those militants are south-west based militants, and it is wrong to attribute them to Niger Delta militants to incite unwarranted attacks against the law-abiding Ijaws and other Niger Deltans residing there. Majority of oil bunkerers in Lagos and Ogun are Yoruba. The Yoruba are well known for bank robbery and other militant activities for ages,” the group said.
It asserted: “It comes as a surprise few weeks back when some miscreants under the banner of OPC issued baseless threat to Ijaw living in South West to produce the criminals attacking communities in Lagos and Ogun states failure upon which they will attack our people in their region.”
“Due to this misplaced threat, Ijaws in those states now live in fear of unknown. It is amazing, what gives ROPC the impression that Ijaws or Niger Delta people are the ones carrying out this dastardly act,” IPDI said.
It stated: “We believe this is another way of calling a dog a bad name just to hang it. Ijaws are law abiding and easygoing people, living harmoniously with their hosts wherever they find themselves. A study carried out in United Kingdom few years back and revealed that 90 per cent of credit card fraud were perpetuated by Yoruba youths, do we because of this generalize that all good people of Yoruba race are credit scam experts?
“We equally want ROPC to know that nobody has monopoly of violence; there are thousands of Yoruba schooling, working and living in peace with us here in Niger Delta region with businesses worth billions of naira. ROPC madness will end up exposing their people in the South- South and their interest to unwarranted attacks through unfounded, provocative and senseless threat that will do nobody any good,” it said.
“We call on OPC and other busy bodies in South West to allow security agencies to do their job by handling this issue as a criminal matter that has nothing to do with generality of peace- loving Ijaws and their leaders should call them to order,” the group added.