The king of Gbaramatu Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Oboro-Gbaraun II (Aketekpe, Agadagba) has warned operatives of the dreaded Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) and all those aiming to attack oil pipelines, to stay off his kingdom.
The monarch, who spoke through the spokesman of the Gbaramatu Traditional Council, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, also advised the federal government to rein the nation’s military in and call them off his area as his kingdom is not at war with the Nigerian state.
The warning against the Avengers and all vandals of the nation’s critical facilities came on the heels of fresh apprehension in Gbaramatu over recent deployment of military hardware in the area, including gunboats and military aircrafts.
But in a statement obtained yesterday in Warri yesterday, the monarch absolved his kingdom and his people from any connection with the dreaded militant group, adding that the group is not welcomed in any part of the kingdom.
The statement said the monarch had given orders to all chairmen of communities in the kingdom to watch out for strangers or indigenes seen close to pipelines in the kingdom, hold such and hand over to security agents.
“We want to also warn criminals that will want to use the present threat situation to cause confusion in the Gbaramatu kingdom. We announce to you that anybody that is caught getting close to pipelines with the purpose of vandalizing pipes will severely dealt with by the Gbaramatu kingdom.
“The monarch has directed that all chairmen in the kingdom should be vigilant, if they are any person that they don’t know in the kingdom nor should they see any son of the kingdom that is about carrying out nefarious activities as it affects government facilities should be apprehended and handed over to security agents.
“We don’t support the behaviour of the Avengers to wreck havoc on oil facilities, at the same time, we want to plead with the federal government and its agents, especially the military and the navy, please let’s give peace a chance.
“We are not and we don’t want to be Avengers. We are not in support of the Avengers. All we say is that we want development. Things that the federal government has promised like the Ogoni cleanup, the EPZ project, the maritime university, the Omadino, Okerenkoko, Escravos roads and all that the federal government has said they are going to do, let them fast track them.
“I think the inaction of some agencies of the government is the reason why people have opportunity to say they want to protest, but to the protesters we continue to plead with your conscience, sheathe the sword, that is not the right way to go. If you destroy all the facilities in the Niger Delta, we will suffer for it, we will be the losers, we don’t need to destroy government facilities for government to listen to us. Let’s sit down and talk, to jaw-jaw is better than to war-war. I repeat, we are not at war with the federal government.
“Criminals who want to use the present situation to cause an unpleasant situation in Gbaramatu kingdom should leave the kingdom alone. Should we get any information that anybody wants to get close to government facilities, our youths are on the lookout, we will deal with such people. The traditional ruler has given directives to the community chairman to ensure this directive.