By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South- South, Festus Ahon, Egufe Yafugborhi & Perez Brisibe
WARRI—NIGER-DELTA Greenland Justice Mandate, NDGJM, the militant group in the Niger Delta that has refused to honour the 60-day ceasefire between militants and Federal Government, served a fresh notice, yesterday, on the Nigerian Army and oil multinationals to watch out for the “next big statement.”
This came as some Pan Niger Delta civil society groups criticised President Muhammadu Buhari over his recent statement that treasury looters were sponsoring militants, saying his gaffe was unacceptable.
Meanwhile, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, came hard on the Pan-Delta Coastal States Consultative Forum, led by Chief Edwin Clark, for rejecting the Niger Delta Summit proposed by the Federal Government.
The group in a statement by self-styled Gen Aldo Agbalaja, yesterday, entitled, ‘Notice to Multinationals,’ said: “We are hereby, serving a notice to the oil multinational companies and their army of defense to watch out for the next big statement, it shall shake your imaginations.
“The chickens seem to be coming home to roost now, the truth is dawning on blacklegs working to shortchange their people will always backfire. When the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate said we were out to draw it to the last with the oppressors, some snickered and bluffed, their indignation became most annoying when those pretenders called Avengers gave life to our prediction and announced a ceasefire.
“Now they are all coming back to the basics, falling back in line after seeing first hand, that we have been right all along about the Nigerian government; it is a corrupt system that should never be trusted.
“Until we see a sincere and genuine step towards a just and equitable mending of the injustices of all the years done to our people, this war shall persist and we can guarantee that they cannot win this one, even if they get all the world’s arsenal assembled behind them.
“Operation Crocodile Tears (a counter operation to Operation Crocodile Smile of the Nigerian Army launched by the group) is the mildest of what the world should expect from us, by the time we initiate the phase II and get started with ‘Operation Hammurabi Code’, only God knows what will then become of these entities called Nigeria.
“Therefore, we encourage the oil multinational companies to continue with rat-like infestation of our lands and their trust in the force of arms, as provided to them by the Nigerian military, they already know how much it has protected their assets, by now, they know who governs the nooks and crannies of the Niger Delta, especially in the upland.
“We have been careful not to be the initiator of blood spilling, as a matter of fact, our various strike forces have severally come in contact with men of the Nigerian army, but have been restrained from drawing the first blood.
“However, we are using this medium to warn the Nigerian armed forces to properly advise their leadership, militarization of our region can only lead to an avoidable armed confrontation and if this happens, we swear by the gods and ancestors of our lands, we shall ensure it is a long and tedious campaign that the Nigerian state will forever regret.
“We want to commend the brilliant performance of the Opudo Strike Team, it has shown the reward of quality training and the usefulness of commitment to a just course. We are also alerting the ‘Akuma Strike Team’ to prepare to be unlocked, the campaign is about to get intense.
“If the Nigerian government and its multinational oil companies allies will not hesitate to use falsehood and deception to perpetuate injustice, we will not fail in our duty to demand justice and demand it forcefully,” the group said.
Also, the pan-Niger Delta civil society groups, including President, Niger Delta Security Watch Organisation of Nigeria, Dickson Bekederemo, President, Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative, IPDI, Austin Ozobo, leader of Ijaw Human Rights Monitors, Mr. Ebi Brisibe and President, Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade, FHRACC, Alaowei Cleric, has said that Niger Delta Avengers, were not being saqponsored by treasury looters.
They said: “While the many follies of Mr President on issues relating to Niger Delta agitation are forgivable in the sense that Mr, President had already admitted that age will limit his capacity, we, however, find it difficult to forgive the ignorance displayed by Mr. President’s nephews, cousins and friends, who are presently the handlers of the President’s functions in Aso Rock.
“If the handlers of Mr. President were good students of history, they ought to have known that the Niger Delta agitation for self-determination and political autonomy or better still, equity participation of the resources in their lands predated Nigeria independence and even oil discovery.
“In 1954 constitutional conference, our forefathers agitated for a separate state of our own. The agitations for COR state by the minority ethnic groups in the East and Mid-Western states by the Niger Deltans in the West gave birth to minority agitation for political autonomy. That was why in the 1957 constitutional conference, the ethnic minorities in the Niger Delta region presented their agitation for separate states. This was the reason why the British Government recommended a commission for the region, instead of a separate state. The armed struggle of Avengers today is a replication of what our forefathers did in the past.
“The Niger Delta struggle has evolved into different stages. During the pre-colonial period, it was a combination of armed and nonviolent struggle. At the colonial time, it metamorphosed into a full- blown nonviolent struggle. However, six years after Nigeria got her independence, precisely in 1966, Major Jasper lsaac Adaka Boro introduced arms into the struggle, which has now been redefined by successive militant groups from time to time.”