By Davies Iheamnachor
PORT HARCOURT— Ahead of the 2019 general election, a new militant group, War Against Niger Delta Exploitation, WANDE, has threatened to disrupt the 2019 elections unless the federal Government can show commitment to the development of the oil rich Niger Delta.
WANDE gave the threat in a communique in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, yesterday, by its spokesman, General Nomukeme.
Nomukeme said the reason for the emergence of the group was the continued act of perpetual enslavement of the people of the region by the Federal Government, stressing that the people were denied the right to have a share of their God-given resources.
He said WANDE would galvanise support for President Muhammadu Buhari, if he can prove his administration’s commitment towards the development of Niger Delta, by implementing the demands.
“But failure to meet our demands simply translates to our commencement of hostilities. We will frustrate the conduct of the 2019 general election across the country, if the following demands are handled with kid gloves.
“That the 53 Oil Mining Licenses of Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, other multi nationals and individuals, which are non indigenes of the Niger Delta must not be renewed after their expiration in 2019, as we will no longer sit and watch our collective resources stolen by strangers under the watchful eyes of the Federal Government.
“That the Niger Deltans must be adequately compensated with the right to also own and operate at least 75 per cent of Oil Prospecting Licenses, OPL and Oil Mining Licenses, OML.
“Our people must be given the first right of refusal as to whether they will like to own and operate the facilities or not.”