Niger Delta agitators signaled a return to hostilities in the oil-rich region, yesterday, when they called off the subsisting seven-month ceasefire with the Federal Government brokered, November last year, by Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, declaring Operation No Mercy and Destiny Takeover of God-given Resources.
The campaigners, under the auspices of 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience, led by self-styled ‘General’ W.O. I. Izon Ebi, blamed the Federal Government for the new turn of event, saying it (government) has, over the years, remained adamant in implementing agreements reached with the region’s representatives, including the 16-piont demand of PANDEF.
The militants were irked that the Federal Government was inciting the region, citing as the latest provocation plan to build a $2 billion Refinery in Katsina, the home state of President Muhammadu Buhari, with money from the Niger Delta.
Their words: “the establishment of a refinery that will be refining Niger Republic oil without our refineries working marks the end of oil exploration in the Niger Delta.
“We shall fight with the last drop of our blood to have a 100 per cent control of our God-given resources.”
The group had in a statement, last week, said the members were still mourning the massacre of innocent souls in Plateau and other states of the country, but warned the Federal Government to stop overstretching the patience of Niger Deltans. Calling on PANDEF not to intercede this time around, they said:
“We, therefore, end our mourning grace and call off our ceasefire and declare Operation No Mercy and Destiny Takeover of our God- given Resources, since the Federal Government has just demonstrated that all they need is the oil from our region with total neglect for our wellbeing and survival as a people.”
We’ll go after them —JTF
Coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre, JMCC, Joint Task Force, JTF, Operation Delta Safe, Major Ibrahim Abdullahi, who reacted to the threat, told Vanguard on phone: “Our mandate in the Niger Delta is clear, to protect oil and gas infrastructure. Whoever comes against our mandate, we will go after him and we will not look back.”