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TENSION AS NEW MILITANT GROUP EMERGES WITH A 48-HOURS ULTIMATUM

*Vows to attack Warri, Port Harcourt refineries

*Soldiers to comb Niger Delta creeks to battle militants

A new militant group, Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM) have yesterday announced its presence in the troubled region with a threat to bring down the Warri and Port Harcourt refineries as well as Otorogun Gas Plant.

The group gave a 48-hour ultimatum to oil multi-nationals namely AGIP, TOTAL, SHELL, MOBIL, SHORELINES, NECONDE, E.D WESTERN, SEPLAT and others to evacuate their personnel from the region, especially in the Ogba/Egi axis of Rivers State, Urhobo/Isoko/Ndokwa axis of Delta State and other upland oil producing areas.

NDGJM said it would soon make “a loud statement which we believe should be loud enough for all to see and take seriously and then afterwards state our demands.”

A statement signed by the group’s spokesman, Aldo Agbalaja stated that the Federal Government had continued to ignore Niger Delta agitators.

He described as shenanigan what was going on between the Federal Government and “some self-styled ‘Niger Delta agitators’ and thought if we fail to make our own statement now, then there will be no future for the larger Niger Delta region.”

According to him, the NDGJM was not “in the mold of the various criminal gangs that have so far paraded themselves as fighting for the interest of the people of the Niger Delta, but who indeed have been engaged in fight for personal enrichment.

“We are not one of them. We are out to tell the world that there is a Niger Delta that is made up of many tribes and tongues, the people of whom have so far suffered both local and national oppression.

“We have come at this point to ensure that our oppressors, being the Federal Government, the governments in the six core Niger Delta states that have received billions of dollars over the past years but have brought little or no development to the region and the so-called super-ethnic nations, which have yielded to greed and wickedness and have exposed the rest of us in the oil-rich, but deeply impoverished region, to crippling squalor.”

It stated that the NDGJM was a coalition of forces across the Niger Delta region, fighting for the interest of the region, adding that the Federal Government and oil multinational companies were making grave mistake by equating the interest of the Ijaw people as that of all the tribes of the region.

“All the people of the upland Niger Delta, under whose watch the largest and most critical oil assets are located, have been ignored over the years as government and the oil companies pander to every whim and cough of those who have violently engaged the state.

“Just as in the 2009 experience, the Federal Government and oil companies have started yet another round of negotiation with the Ijaw front, in the name of all the people of the Niger Delta. This will not work.

“Since they do not regard the assets in our areas important enough to be protected, we shall root them all out of the length of the Niger Delta. We don’t want to make this mistake any longer, violence pays as it has become the only voice that government hearkens to.”

… Expect more attacks –ADA

48 hours after militants killed three soldiers and made away with their arms and ammunition in Nembe, Nembe Local Government Area, Bayelsa State, the Adaka Boro Avengers (ADA) has issued a warning that Nigerians should expect more attacks on military checkpoints in the region.

According to the group, the attack was as a result of the refusal of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration to initiate sincere negotiations to end the crisis in the oil-rich region.

The group’s spokesman, General Edmos Ayayeibo, while describing the allegation against former President Goodluck Jonathan and others as baseless, vowed that the attack on military formation would only cease if the Federal Government decided to dialogue to end the hostilities in the region.

Ayayeibo stated that the foot-dragging of genuine dialogue by the Federal Government was only putting oil companies and military personnel in grave danger.

The statement read in part: “We earlier informed the Federal Government on the way forward on how to end the hostilities in Niger Delta region, but the Federal Government is taking us for granted.”

Meanwhile Soldiers attached to Operation Delta Safe (OPDS) have reportedly seized the creeks of Bayelsa State in search of the militants that killed three soldiers and carted away arms, ammunition and two gunboats.

Commander of the OPDS, Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie had immediately deployed a reinforcement team to the creeks to recover the gunboats and arms carted away.

According to Lt. Commander A. Ahmed, acting coordinator of the Joint Media Campaign Centre, the OPDS following directive from the Defence Headquarters had vowed to arrest the perpetrators.

“Some suspected gunmen believed to be militants at about 10:am on August 8 attacked 343 Artillery Regiment, a detachment of Operation Delta Safe deployed at Nembe Jetty in Bayelsa State. During the attack, three soldiers lost their lives.

“Commander of OPDS, Okojie, has consequently deployed reinforcement team to apprehend the perpetrators of this heinous crime. He further warned that henceforth, OPDS would go on offensive to fish out all criminals in the region.
It should be noted that the attack by militants is as a result of the ongoing operations of the Joint Task Force of OPDS aimed at flushing out all forms of criminality especially pipelines vandalism and destruction of illegal refinery in the region.

“The command wishes to assure law-abiding public particularly the Nembe community that OPDS is mandated to ensure conducive and safe waterways for legitimate businesses in the joint operation areas.”

Also Okojie urged the people to go about their legitimate duties and enjoined them to give useful information that would lead to the arrest of the perpetrators.

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