Sylvester Idowu in Warri
The new militant group, Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM) on Saturday warned the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) not to effect any repair on its facilities blasted in the early hours of Friday.
The group, which claim to be agitating for the upland host communities to oil facilities, said emphatically that repair works should not take place until the oil company heard from it.
According to a release signed by its spokesperson, Aldo Agbalaja, NDGJM claimed its formidable strike team brought down the major trunkline/delivery line operated by NPDC at 2a.m on Friday in Udu Local Government Area (Urhobo) of Delta State.
THISDAY checks however revealed that the said gas trunkline has been abandoned since because it was to supply gas to the moribund Delta Steel Company (DSC) located at Aladja community in the council area.
Security sources disclosed ‘The said gas trunkline has not been in use for a long time now. So they just breached it to claim unnecessary attention. So there is no cause for alarm.”
But the militant group which claimed responsibility for the pipeline breach warned that no repairs should take place in that pipeline pending when signals come from it.
“Peace cannot be realised in an unjust environment, like we said from the onset, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate is not just about causing calamity and delighting in chaos, rather a child of circumstance, bore to correct an injustice that has lived with us, from the time of our fathers.
“We are in this struggle, not to create any acrimony with our friends and brothers in the riverine axis, who are equal citizens of this over sapped region, but to call the attention of the world to our peculiar experience; that we, as people of diverse tongues and orientation, have kept faith with both the Nigerian government and oil multinationals over the years, by being peaceful, patient and law abiding all through the years, but have in turn been abused and abandoned by these same supposed partners.
“They have all along taken our quietness and disposition for peace and choice for orderliness for granted. We have watched and seen that they only encourage lawlessness and violence”, the militant group which is perceived to be of Urhobo ethnic group said.
NDGJM noted that its quietness and disposition for peace were used to short-change Urhobo people in not too distant past and “we have now rearranged ourselves, chosen the line of action they respond to.
“Peace and order are not strangers to us, as a matter of fact, they are the way we have chosen for long and thus aren’t difficult for us to revert to, only that they will not be cheap this time; they have to be bought with mutual faith and doing right to our people and our lands”, it added.
NDGJM demanded that the federal government should call an urgent and all-encompassing meeting of genuine stakeholders of core Niger Delta communities, especially those from oil producing communities to create a truly Niger Delta platform, where real issues of injustice and what correcting them should look like.
“The oil multinationals must be part of this and the United Nations should serve as witness to this alongside some very credible international NGOs”, it added.
The militant group said while it is not opposed to ongoing negotiations going on between the federal government, oil companies and the Ijaw elements in region, it was however not comfortable that it is going on with an impression that it is the whole of Niger Delta that is involved.
It therefore demanded that the federal government should identify with a selection of very credible persons from all regions who are at grassroots, who understand the pains of their people and not some political criminals looking for “breast pocket money.”
It also called for an immediate cessation of military harassment of people and communities in the region, especially in the Ijaw areas, adding “We know how very provocative this can be and an injury to one is an injury to all. We are aware of plans by the federal government to attack communities in the creek in the name of wiping out militancy.”