By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South
A coalition of nine militant groups under the aegis of Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, RNDA, yesterday, backed out of peace talks with the Federal Government, accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of not doing well for Niger Delta and illegally appointing Mr Akwa Okon as Sole Administrator of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
The peace talks between the RNDA and the Federal Government was initiated, last year, by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
National Coordinator of RNDA, self-styled “Major General Johnmark Ezonebi, in a statement, said: “The peace talk was recently threatened by the appointment of Mr Akwa Effiong Okon as sole administrator for NDDC, and the non-recognition of Niger Delta in the policy statements by President Buhari during the January 1 broadcast to the nation.”
The militants threatened that with effect from tomorrow, its strike force units in the nine states of the zone “will kick start bombing and destruction of oil facilities and oil pipelines and major oil ships and vessels coming from Lagos to the creek of Niger Delta.
“The major vessels and ships are advised to withdraw their services to Warri, Escravos waters to Bonny NLNG Port Harcourt waters from the Gulf of Guinea to Nigeria waterways, henceforth. Any of the ships and the vessels that refuse to comply with our directive will be met with the fire power attack from the dreaded strike force units of the RNDA militant groups.
“The operation is code named Operation No Mercy Alfa Piper Zero Oil to save NDDC from the hands of politicians, including the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio; the sole administrator, Mr. Akwa Effiong Okon, and some presidential aides involved in the plot to hold Niger Delta to ransom.”
RNDA, however, commended Senator Ovie Omo Agege over his efforts at rallying round all stakeholders in the zone, including traditional rulers, the leadership of Host Communities of Nigeria and the various agitating militant groups in the zone to build bridge of peace among all ethnic nationalities in the zone.
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“We commend those genuinely agitating for the practical development of the zone and salute the neglected emancipated long suffering and most oppressed citizens of Nigerian state, who are from the oil-rich Niger Delta.
“Though the Commander-in-Chief, President Buhari, refused to acknowledge that the most significant zone in this country that has been sustaining the economy of this nation for all these years should be given proper attention before any other region.
“And for issues concerning the overall development of the entire Niger Delta, it is noted that Mr President refused to address these issues, including that of Niger Delta Development Commission. RNDA wants to say that President Buhari does not mean well for the development of the Niger Delta.
“The fact that Mr. President kept quiet and refused to take any action on the inauguration of a substantive NDDC board, which had been screened and confirmed by Mr President himself before now, and for him to keep quiet and allow his aides around him to plot a coup against the people of Niger Delta is mind blowing.
“The only solution to the issue on ground is for President Buhari to listen to the clarion call and agitations of the Niger Delta people.
“The RNDA has decided to declare war and to blow up all the major oil pipelines and attack all the oil vessels entering Nigeria waters that is bringing in NNPC fuel tankers to the Lagos high sea.
“For this reason, RNDA has decided to declare curfew with the expiration date of 21 days in the entire Nigerian water ways from the Lagos sea Atlas Cove manifold, NLNG Bonny waters to the gulf coast of Guinea to Nigeria waters.
“Any foreign vessels that refuses to obey this directive from the RNDA is on its own and whatever happens to any of the vessels and the foriegners, the country’s vessel owners should hold Sen Godswill Akpabio, Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and Mr Akwa Effiong Okon responsible for whatever happens to them in the creek.”