By Emma Amaize
WARRI- MILITANTS in Niger Delta on Monday threatened to cause collateral damage to oil installations and facilities in the region should the Federal Government go ahead with the purported plan to take away supervision of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), from Ministry of Niger Delta to the Office of Secretary to Government of the Federation (OSGF).
The Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) and the coalition of nine militant groups gave the warning in a statement issued by leader of the group, “General” Johnmark Ezonbi, aka Obama.
The statement read: “We will bring the nation to its knees and return Nigeria to the era of another recession if the Secretary to Federal Government and the so-called selfish self- centered, greedy power- drunken politicians refuse to stop their evil arrangement..
“It has come to our notice that there was an ongoing meeting initiated by some power-drunk and self- centered leaders from the region, who have lost control of the affairs of the NDDC. They are collaborating with some top officials in the Presidency to transfer the supervision of the NDDC to the OSGF all in a bid to divert the fund for their personal gains towards 2023.
“We sternly warn those behind this evil plot to retrace their steps or live to regret their actions as they will not be spared in the onslaught christened ‘Final Battle to Rescue NDDC from the Hawks, Blood for Oil.”
The militants which had been supportive of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration added that “any attempt to remove the NDDC, from the supervision of Niger Delta Ministry to OSGF would be met with stiff resistance not minding the negative impact our action would have on the nation’s economy.
“The RNDA will not fold its arms and watch people that are anti-Niger-Delta and with divisive tendencies to hold the NDDC, the only federal government interventionist agency meant to address under developmental challenges occasioned by the deliberate neglect, crude oil exploration and exploitation to ransom. They want to make it a toothless bulldog in order to carry out their wicked, callous, nefarious, inhuman and avaricious bidding.”
“Let it be put on record that if the NDDC is removed from the supervision of the Niger Delta Ministry to the Office of the Secretary to the Federal Government, we will carry out collateral damage on all available oil installations and facilities across the length and breadth of the Niger Delta region.
“We have warned and there will be no going back as enough is enough with playing politics and power tussle with the development of the region which spoons that feeds the nation.
“If this devilish and heartless arrangement is not put to an end, RNDA should not be held responsible for any causality that happens to bring down the production of crude oil production in the creeks of Niger Delta. RNDA with the nine other militant groups in the creek cannot watch and allow such wicked, inhuman, barbaric arrangement to take place just to suffer the people of the Niger Delta.”
RNDA leader, Ezonbi, asserted that the fact that militants accepted ceasefire agreement did not mean that Niger Delta people would swallow whatever government would want to force down their throats.
“They want to render the NDDC meaningless to the region when efforts should be geared to strengthen and release all funds accruing to the Commission, rather they want to reduce it to a mere bureaucratic office, we will not allow that to happen.
“Let every son and daughter of the Niger Delta region and the country know that any attempt by some misguided elements bent on removing the supervision of the NDDC from the Niger Delta Ministry to the OSGF will only lead to crippling of the nation’s economy because that will be the last option. We will not rest until we bring down the oil and gas sector to ground zero, a word is enough for the wise,” he said.
According to him, “It is painful that after sacrificing our lives in support of President Muhammadu Buhari- led APC federal government and entered into ceasefire agreement for peace to reign in the region, the only thing to pay back the people of the Niger Delta is to strangulate development.”
His words: “The RNDA and coalition of nine militant groups, however, want to thank President Buhari for appointing former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio and Chief Festus Keyamo, SAN, as Minister of the Niger Delta and Minister of State for Niger Delta.”
“RNDA will throw their weight behind then to succeed but the so-called cabal that wants to render the NDDC useless by trying to remove the powers of the Ministry on the supervisory functions to the NDDC will be resisted with any means necessary,” he added.