Don’t Reopen Trans-Forcados Line or Negotiate with Clark Group’


Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba

New militant group, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM), has warned against reopening of the breached Trans-Forcados pipeline in Delta State.

It also expressed opposition to the proposed negotiation meeting between the Federal Government and some stakeholders in the Niger Delta region allegedly led by erstwhile information minister, Chief Edwin K. Clark, towards the resolution of attacks and destruction of oil and gas facilities in the area.

In an e-mailed statement on Saturday, the spokesman of the NDGJM, “General” Aldo Agbalaja, the group said that the oil companies should not believe they were protected by the heavy presence of the military in the area and as such they could ignore the warning.

The statement said, “We do not have more to say to the oil companies than to just dare you to reopen the Trans- Forcados Pipeline (TFP). We are aware you are experts at testing wills, especially as you believe that you have a military shield. Please go ahead and restart the facility and see what will happen. Enough said!”

Moreover, the statement, titled “Do not put on the Trans-Forcados pipeline”, said it considered it inappropriate for the federal government to decide to deal with the people of the Niger Delta through certain individuals who have allegedly been hands-in-gloves with successive governments and oil companies that have for decades perpetrated economic and environment justice against the region.

It described the October 29th dialogue with the national Ijaw leader, Clark-led group as “grand error being orchestrated by those who are responsible for the current parlous state of our region.”

“These people seem to have succeeded in bewitching and railroaded the federal government into settling for a dialogue with them, in the name of the Niger Delta people”, it observed.

According to the group, “What we find offensive is the (fact that), as it has done in the past, (this is an attempt) to steal the identity of our people to hoodwink Government. By the time an agreement is reached with this so-called Pan-Niger Delta Dialogue Team, Chief E.K Clark’s new conduit, the current disaffection in the region will remain because the old man has his model of doing things, which ultimately sidelines the people of the region and satisfies the greed of a few.

“The Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate however uses this opportunity to warn the federal government not to make this mistake and to say that we are 100% against the October 29th meeting, we consider it to be an impersonation of the people of the Niger Delta and their interest.”