By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA- A coalition of Niger Delta agitators on Thursday handed down an ultimatum to Northerners and Yoruba from south west zone resident in the region to vacate before October 1.
The coalition also said that it is set to resume the bombings of major oil and gas installation in the coastal region.
Made of up 8 frontline groups, the agitators also dissociated itself from the leadership and membership of Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, warning the Federal Government to stop dealing with the body on their behalf.
Recall that PANDEF led by eminent leaders of Niger Delta including a former Federal Commissioner for Information, Chief Edwin Clarke met twice with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo recently at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The meeting was principally to articulate lasting solution to the challenges of the people in the region.
But in a statement signed by the leaders of the groups, the agitators said that they had resolved to declare Republic of Niger Delta on October 1, also mandating the federal government to return all the oil wells given to non indigenes of the region to them.
They also congratulated the Yoruba for their intention to declare Oduduwa Republic, saying that they would work in tandem with the South East and Middle Belt to achieve economic and diplomatic developments.
The signatories to the statement included General John Duku (Niger Delta Watchdogs and Convener Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators); General Ekpo Ekpo ( Niger Delta Volunteers); General Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors) and Major-Gen. Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters).
Others were Major-Gen. Asukwo Henshaw for Bakassi Freedom Fighters; Major-Gen. Ibinabo Horsfall for Niger Delta Movement for Justice; Major-Gen. Duke Emmanson for Niger Delta Fighters Network and Major-Gen. Inibeghe Adams for Niger Delta Freedom Mandate.
The statement read in full: “At the general council meeting of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators (CNDA) involving surveillance department, intelligence department and commanding officers held today to deliberate on the recent development in the Niger Delta and Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) meeting with the Acting President, after hours of careful deliberations, we unanimously resolved as follows:
“To commence Operation Zero Oil in the Niger Delta from September 10, 2017 as a preparation for the actualization of Niger Delta Republic
“We totally condemn the recent meeting between PANDEF and the Acting President; we see it as another plot to deceive the Niger Delta people. First and foremost, the meeting was marred with inordinate greed of the PANDEF as they did not involve the representatives of the Agitating groups and youths leaders. We wish to let the Acting President to know that those he met have no capacity and cannot solve the current crisis in the Niger Delta; therefore they cannot represent the militants or speak for the Niger Delta people.
“The Coalition unanimously adopts to stand by the previous demands, which are: 100% percent control of our resources.
“The Federal Government should hand over all oil blocks owned by the Northerners/Yoruba to Niger Delta indigenes.
“All Oil companies operating in such oil blocks/wells should vacate October 1st, 2017.
“Relocation of NNPC to any of the Niger Delta state and replacement of the Group Managing Director with an indigene of region.
“All the Multinational Oil, Gas, Servicing and Marine Companies must relocate their operational base to the Niger Delta; sign a new Memorandum of Understanding with Niger Delta people which would include Niger Delta indigenes being paid same salaries with foreigners.
“We demand independence and sovereign Republic of Niger Delta, all the companies and business owned by the Northerners / Yoruba in Niger Delta should be vacated before 1st October 2017, we accept and congratulate the Yoruba for demanding Oduduwa Republic and we wish them success.
“We hereby call on all agitating groups to resume attacks/bombings on all oil/gas pipelines, especially the exporting lines across the Niger Delta region from September 10, 2017. This is to ensure zero oil/gas production before October 1, 2017.
“We shall work to interface with more patriotic and zealous Niger Delta people to work out new collective approach that will ensure total freedom and complete control of our resources by any means necessary.
“We shall from henceforth, fight to liberate ourselves from the shackles of neo-colonialism and rule ourselves under a Niger Delta Republic, with diplomatic and economic relations with the peoples of the South East and Middle Belt.
“Finally, we want to inform the federal government of Nigeria and the general public that we no longer recognize PANDEF under the present leadership as they are working against the interest of the Niger Delta people.”