*Insist FG not sincere about lasting peace in Niger Delta
Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
One of the militant groups in Nigeria, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM), has warned that it was considering intensifying its violent campaign against oil and gas installations in the region.
The group, which claimed responsibility for destroying the Trans-Forcados pipeline barely 24 hours after the commencement of the meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and the Niger Delta leaders in Abuja, threatened to carry out attack on oil installations that would make those masterminded by the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) a child’s play.
It said that its objective was to cripple crude production capacity in the region in order to compel the Buhari administration to abandon its belligerent disposition for genuine mutual dialogue towards enduring peace and development of the Niger Delta.
The group said on Saturday that it would not relent in their violent campaign because of perceived lack of seriousness or commitment of the Buhari administration to the peace process in the Niger Delta.
It said that President betrayed his insincerity to the cause of the region while meeting in Abuja with some leaders of the Niger Delta led by Chief Edwin Clark during the week.
According to the emailed statement titled, “We Warned Them”, the militant group said, “The humiliation that came with the meeting of the PANDEF with the Nigerian president, Muhammadu Buhari, did not come to the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate as a surprise, we expected it because we know even the government knows the character and intent of the man and most of those he led to the meeting. We warned and the government/the world gave heed. The only painful part is the fact that the humiliation is stamped on the collective image of our people.
“However, we want to dare President Buhari and his administration to attempt or fully carry out his military action against our people and see the response that will follow. We want to say here, without mincing words, that we are aware of his intentions, we heard loud and clear his hostile message, we understand his message even beyond his uttered words and the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate is saying we are ready for his worst.
“We know he has severally threatened war on our people, which threats we had been calm enough not to respond to, but at this point we believe it is time for us to come out to say to him that enough is enough.
“Niger Deltans are nobody’s slave, we shall fight until there’s nothing left to defend. As a matter of fact, what the Avengers (Niger Delta Avengers) did to the oil industry will be nothing to compare with the grand-plan already set by our Central Command: we shall bring the Nigerian daily output quota to below 500,000. Just be ready for the approaching tsunami.”
It blamed the multi-national oil companies for disregarding the militants’ warnings and thereby prompting the attacks and destruction of oil and gas facilities in the region.
“The oil multinational companies, we know you are recalcitrant and will always come to test wills, we hope you will continue in this tradition so there will always be reasons to let the world know that “you don’t contest the corners of a house with the owner of the house”
“The destruction of the Trans-Forcados Pipeline (TFP) is just a warning to a deaf/rogue entity. We warned against the restarting of the facility, but the daring companies won’t listen. That shadow operation that brought the TFP was only meant to let these companies know that we aren’t kidding with them; when we say stay down, you stay down, it’s in your own best interest.”
The group, however, insisted that it was not opposed to the dialogue option in the quest for peace in the oil-rich region, but maintained that the terms of such peace deal should not be dictated by President Buhari but should involve all genuine stakeholders in the region.
The statement by the NDGJM spokesman, “General” Aldo Agbalaja, also accused the Federal Government of handpicking for dialogue a handful of dead wood who have allegedly been responsible for decades of injustice and underdevelopment of the Niger Delta region.
“Like we said prior to now, if there will be a dialogue and an agreement between the Niger Delta and the Nigerian federal government, it has to be transparent and sincere, and the representatives of our people will be selected by the various people, not handpicked by the cabal of leeches responsible for the current deplorable state of our land and people, we just hope and pray that this depleting system called Nigeria and the warmongering Buhari administration wouldn’t have plunged us all into this avoidable looming war before we come to a very necessary agreement.”