Militants demand exit of northerners in Niger Delta, move to declare republic

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Militants in the creeks

We want to sound this as a warning to all the northerners living in Niger Delta to quit our land before October 1, 2017 as this is not just a threat. After October 1, 2017, any northerner found within the Republic of Niger Delta shall be seen as an intruder and shall be treated as such

Niger Delta Militants

AHEAD of a joint meeting between northern and Igbo leaders and the Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, in furtherance of efforts to defuse the tension raised by the quit notice by Arewa youths to Igbo residents in the north, a coalition of Niger Delta have ordered all northerners to quit the oil-rich region before October 1, 2017.

In what is beginning to look like a critical balance a terror, and an ominous development, the coalition on Saturday threatened to attack every oil well owned by any northerner in Niger Delta.

Operating under the umbrella of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators, the groups stated: “We want to sound this as a warning to all the northerners living in Niger Delta to quit our land before October 1, 2017 as this is not just a threat. After October 1, 2017, any northerner found within the Republic of Niger Delta shall be seen as an intruder and shall be treated as such.

“We also use this opportunity to advise oil and gas companies in our territory to shut down further operations, PENGASSAN and NUPENG to warn/withdraw their members from Niger Delta before October 1, 2017 or risk their lives. Our next action will surprise you.”

The groups faulted the Federal Government for treating the northern youths with kid gloves and wondered why the nation’s security apparatus did not arrest those who issued the quit notice to the Igbo to exit the north.

IGP, Ibrahim Idris

With this development, the government’s negotiating team would have been put on full alert to expand its purview to include the Niger Delta coalition.

 

Their Demands

Meanwhile, at the meeting between the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators and youth leaders in the Niger Delta, the militant leaders demanded an immediate return of oil blocs owned by northerners to the Niger Delta people.

The militants also demanded that all oil and gas companies operating in oil wells owned by northerners should vacate the platforms before October 1, 2017.

They also demanded the relocation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) headquarters from Abuja to the Niger Delta and the replacement of the Group Managing Director of NNPC with an indigene of Niger Delta region.

They demanded further that all offices, boards and agencies that have anything to do with oil and gas should be relocated immediately to Niger Delta and all non-Niger Delta directors, staff be replaced with the indigenes.

They stated: “We condemn in totality the meeting held by the Acting President with some northern elders and youths. We see it as a grand conspiracy. A responsible government should have arrested those traitors, but our government rather turned round to meet with them and pleaded for peace; does the Nigerian government see people from other zones as second-class citizens? Why are they more important to the Acting President, why is it that the Nigerian law is always weak when it involves the northerners? We are still watching the unfolding events with keen interest.”

Expressing readiness to declare the Sovereign Republic of Niger Delta on October 1, 2017, the militants noted that the liberation of the people of the region from the alleged slavery of Nigeria remains a primary target.

The groups at the meeting and the leaders who endorsed a joint statement were: Gen. John Duku (Niger Delta Watchdogs); Gen. Ekpo Ekpo (Niger Delta Volunteers); Gen. Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors); Major-Gen. Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters); Major-Gen. Asukwo Henshaw (Bakassi Freedom Fighters); Major-Gen. Ibinabo Horsfall (Niger Delta Movement for Justice); Major-Gen. Duke Emmanson (Niger Delta Fighters Network); Major-Gen. Inibeghe Adams (Niger Delta Freedom Mandate); and Major-Gen. Ibinabo Tariah (Niger Delta Development Network).

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