Posted by News Express | 13 July 2016 | 1,921 times
Angry at recent statements credited to President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osibanjo, three militant groups in the Niger Delta have vowed to resume attacks against oil companies operating in the region.
The groups are Niger Delta Volunteers (NDV), Niger Delta Peoples Liberation Movement (NDPLF) and Bakassi Freedom Fighters (BFF). In a joint statement signed by the militant groups’ spokesmen, Ekpo Ekpo for NDV; Henry Etete for NDPLF and Asukwo Henshaw for BFF, they criticised Osibanjo over a comment allegedly made by him that the militants were fighting for their pockets and not for the interest of the people of Niger Delta region.
While delivering a lecture recently on “The future: Here earlier than we thought”, at the second Foundation’s Day Lecture of Elizade University, Ilara Mokin in Ondo State, Osinbajo had blamed the militants for the economic woes of the country. The groups also frowned at President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent comment that Nigeria’s unity was not negotiable.
Niger Delta people, the militants said, were tired of one Nigeria filled with injustice, marginalisation and oppression of other ethnic groups.
According to the three militant groups, Osibanjo, instead of ridiculing them, should have advised Buhari on how to address the injustice in the Niger Delta region. They, however, vowed to resume attacks against oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region.
They also urged Petroleum and Natural Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (PENGASSAN) and Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) to withdraw their members from oil rigs and platforms for their safety.
“Finally, we also want to let the President know that Nigeria’s unity is negotiable as we are tired of one Nigeria that is full of injustice, marginalisation and oppression,” the groups said.
They reminded members of the public about the expiration of two weeks ceasefire announced on June 27 to enable the government and oil companies operating in the Niger Delta to implement their demands.
The groups also condemned the newly constituted Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) board by the President and called for immediate sack of the Group Managing Director and his replacement with an indigene of the Niger Delta.
They said: “It is an insult on the Niger Delta region that the Minister of Petroleum who also doubles as the President of Nigeria is from the north, the Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, and four other members of the board are also from the north.”
•Adapted from a Guardian report. Photo shows Niger Delta militants.
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