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Breaking: Militants retreat, suspend planned attacks on oil installations

*Restore mandate to PANDEF, praise E. K Clark
*To unleash ‘white shark’ if Federal Government breaches promises with N’Delta leaders
By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South
MILITANTS, who threatened to recommence attack on oil installations in the Niger Delta, October 1, declared a détente, today (Saturday), following the fruitful outcome of last Thursday meeting between the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo and Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, led by Chief Edwin Clark, at Aso Villa, Abuja.

Osinbajo

Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders, NDRC, the militant group which had earlier sent threat text messages to Chief Clark, co-chairmen of PANDEF Central Working Committee, CWC, former governor of Akwa Ibom state, Obong Victor Attah and His Royal Majesty, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, confirmed suspension of warfare.

Spokesman of the group, W O I Izon-Ebi, in an electronic mail to Vanguard, said: “The Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders and the 21st century youths of the Niger Delta hereby declare a détente after due consultation with all stakeholders in Niger Delta borne out of the urgent meeting between the Federal government and PANDEF.”

“We wish to state that the détente and the cessation of unleashing the white shark would be for us to observe the sincerity of the government, so we advise the government to put speed and haste to its promises and commitments to the Niger Delta because the white shark awaits in its laird,” the militants warned.

Giving further reasons for the rapprochement, Izon-Ebi asserted that it was to help the federal government to deepen the process and for the militants to observe its sincerity.

His words: “The NDRC would like to state that this détente period would afford us a period to judge the sincerity of the federal government of Nigeria considering its promises towards development of the Niger Delta and its people.”

“We commend the present federal government under the watch of Prof. Yemi Osibanjo who has shown understanding even in the midst of numerous challenges to distract the government.

“We equally applaud our royal fathers, chiefs and distinguished personalities of the PANDEF, most especially, Chief E.K Clark who has demonstrated the true character of an Ijaw leader, even at 90; he is still active fighting for a better share for the Niger Delta in our God-given resources

“The NDRC and the 21st century youths of the Niger Delta give kudos to this indivisible spirit and statesmanship and in support of this stance equally declare a détente to help in further dialogue and sincerity on the part of the federal government and its agencies,” he added.

The militant group applauded the directive of the Acting President asking the multinationals to relocate their headquarters to the Niger Delta region, saying: “We, the NDRC and the 21st century youths of the Niger Delta wish to state that the safety of their men and equipment are guaranteed.”

It added: “We also use this medium to draw the attention of the federal government to the menace of erosion and spillage devastation in lots of communities in the Niger Delta, most especially Ekeni, Ezetu, Foropah, Koluama 1 and 2. Koluama 2, wiped out by the sea which led them to their present settlement. “

“We call on the federal government to take immediate steps to ameliorate the condition of the people living in these communities. We recommend the immediate filling and pilling of these communities, provision of world -class water projects, provision of direct light supply to host communities by Chevron because the activities of Chevron and Bonga Oil Field is inimical to the survival of these communities,” NDRC stated.


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