May 31, 2021

N-Delta militants, ex-agitators disagree over NDDC board

We stand by our 2015 ceasefire — MEND

…militants back Tompolo, vow to attack oil installations

…Protests against NDDC driving investors away from N-Delta – Ex-agitators tells IYC

By Davies Iheamnachor

Some militant groups and a body of former warlords have disagreed over the ongoing protest against the Federal Government over the failure to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.

While the Coalition of militant groups from the nine states of the Niger Delta led by the Supreme Egbesu Freedom Fighters (SEFF) has vowed to blow-up oil installations in the region if the Federal Government failed to inaugurate the substantive board of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, after seven days.

But, Ex-Agitators Forum on its stance has warned the leadership of the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, to refrain from making a mockery of the Niger Delta through unwarranted protest, thereby driving away potential investors from putting their money in the development of the region.

The coalition in a statement in Port Harcourt on Monday threw their weight behind a similar ultimatum issued by a former Niger Delta warlord, Government Ekpemupolo, a.k.a, Tompolo, saying that they would shut down all major flow stations, oil wells and pipelines owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation NNPC.

READ ALSO: Tompolo gives Buhari 7-day ultimatum to inaugurate NDDC board

They urged President Muhammadu Buhari to call Akpabio and others to order and immediately inaugurate the board to avert the looming huge blow on crude oil production.

In the statement at the end of an emergency meeting convened by the SEFF’s Commanding Officer, ‘General Agadagba Obus alias Thunder, said the Trans-Nembe Bonny Creek Crude Pipeline would not be excluded from the coordinated operation.

The militants in the statement after their meeting said: “And if Akpabio refuses to yield to this noble piece of advice and still go against the common interest of the Niger Delta people and decide to continue to hold the entire Niger Delta region to ransom and refuse to let go his grip, the economic consequences of our planned action should be on him.

“The Presidency and the Federal Government should hold Akpabio, the minister of Niger Delta Affairs and the Sole Administrator of the NDDC, Effiong Akwa responsible. The Supreme Egbesu Freedom Fighters and the other agitating militant groups should not be held responsible for whatever befalls the region

“We want to make it clear that with the way things are going, President Buhari, who was elected to provide good governance for the welfare and betterment of the Niger Delta people and Nigerians at large, has refused to listen to cries of the Niger Delta people”.

The militants, however, said they would not fold their arms and allow Akpabio and his cohorts to rubbish the collective will and aspirations of the Niger Delta people.

But, the Ex-Agitators Forum regretted the protests in Yenagoa, Bayelsa and Port Harcourt, Rivers States capitals respectively by IYC, as threatening.

Speaking, “General,” Alban Paulinus a.k.a Skillar, Chairman of Ex-Agitators Forum, Akwa Ibom State chapter said incessant protests by the youths of the region could only send a bad signal to the business community, thereby discouraging genuine investors from coming into the region.

He said: “We are in a trying time as a country. We all know how bad the economy is due to the covid-19 pandemic which has adversely affected global economy. Nigeria is a mono-economic country depending solely on oil and we all know how the virus affected a lot of things. There is no investor that will want to put his money where youths are causing disturbances every now and then.

“The leadership of IYC must call its members to order. There are other organizations in the Niger Delta like PANDEF, MOSIEND. Ex-agitators Forum among others. IYC cannot carry on as if it is the only group in the entire Niger Delta. The Minister of Niger Delta has told everybody to exercise a little patience for the forensic team to finish its work so that the new board can start on a clean slate. What is the essence of that protest?

“Akwa Ibom is the highest oil-producing state in the Niger Delta. Why should anybody protest against an Akwa Ibom man becoming the interim administrator of NDDC!

If everybody should block roads in their states as the IYC member did on the busy east-west road, how will development come to the region?

Vanguard News Nigeria