Tag Archives: militants

Politics of amnesty: Like Niger Delta militants, like bandits?

By Fredrick Nwabufo

SIR: Did the activities of militants in the Niger Delta qualify as crime? Hell Yes! Militancy and kidnapping were a profitable pursuit in that oil-rich region in the early 2000s. Kidnapping as an organised venture entered our national lexicon at the time. Immigrants from Europe and America working with oil companies were kidnapped and huge ransoms extracted from them. Soldiers and police officers were killed, and public infrastructure destroyed. This is a fact of history.

Really, there was a method to the madness of the Niger Delta militants. They were fighting for a just cause — a region so endowed; yet so impoverished. But the genuineness of their cause does not obviate the criminality of their exertions. Militancy is a crime against the state. Lives were lost; some families traumatised and scarred for life.

As the tension in the Niger Delta thawed owing to the political engineering of the Umar Musa Yar’Adua administration, copycat crimes inspired by militants sputtered in the southeast. The kidnapping establishment now had new shareholders. The southeast was in the thrall of kidnappers who killed their victims even after ransom was paid. Kidnapping became so pervasive in the southeast that some governors of the region resorted to demolishing property acquired by the hostage takers to deter other human hunters. Quasi-security groups were set up to deal with the challenge – which even persists to this day.

The criminal commerce was later trafficked to Lagos where a certain Evans Onuamadike and his gang reigned in the kidnapping industry like a potentate. Some of his victims were allegedly killed, and from his own confession, he extracted millions of naira from his victims and bought a mansion for himself at Magodo, Lagos.

Nigeria is in the clutches of a more vicious stakeholder in the kidnapping enterprise. ‘’Bandits’’ as they have been tagged, do not only kidnap citizens, but also kill and maim some of them. They are more brutal in their execution – and without any regard for life. They have killed many Nigerians and sacked towns and villages. It is indubitable that ‘’bandits’’ are Nigeria’s most deadly adversary — after insurgents.

There is no method to the madness of bandits. There is no cause to justify the orgy of murders, rape and destruction.

However, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi in his proselytising for bandits has raised some prickly posers. He said bandits are waging an ethnic war against the state and that only by granting them amnesty can the titanic iceberg thaw. He said bandits believe their existence in Nigeria is threatened; so they fight. He said these people have endured the pillaging of their cattle and homes – with no protection from security agencies. I will not join the multitude to censure the Sheikh; I would rather plead we ponder on some of his revelations.

As a matter of fact, the nomadic Fulani has existed in the shadows – far removed from the presence of government. No protection or aid by the civil administration; so he becomes his own security. The present parlous state of affairs is as a result of successive years of failed leadership. The leadership has failed the Fulani; the leadership has failed the Igbo; the leadership has failed the Hausa; the leadership has failed the Yoruba; the leadership has failed all Nigerians.

We are all victims of the situation. The failure of leadership is the reason Nigerians take up arms against one another. The nomadic Fulani is a victim of failed leadership just like every one of us. We have to fix leadership.

Should it be unto bandits as it was unto Niger Delta militants? The ethnic cleavages have been revealed again in this crisis. The debate is now on ‘’my criminal is nicer than yours’’. While some Nigerians will not countenance any justification for banditry; yet they make strong arguments for Niger Delta militants who also kidnapped people, killed soldiers and extracted ransoms.

We cannot also rule out the possibility of some vultures seeking to use ‘’amnesty for bandits’’ as a means to perpetuate their looting of the public till. So, if there must be amnesty for bandits, it should be at no financial cost to the government. However, the government should revisit the national livestock plan and work in consonance with state governors to see to its implementation. Already, the Nigeria Governors Forum has endorsed the plan. The government should not be seduced into doing a reprise of the ‘’amnesty package’’ of Niger Delta militants for bandits. Bandits should surrender their weapons unconditionally. In seeking peace, we must not create for ourselves future problems by rewarding crime.

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PANDEF to N’Delta militants: violence not answer to issues

By Elo Edremoda, Warri

The Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) has appealed to militants under the aegis of Supreme Egbesu Liberation Fighters (SELF), not to toe the line of violence in the fight against alleged marginalization of the Niger Delta region.

PANDEF’s publicity secretary, Hon. Ken Robinson, in a telephone conversation with Nairalovers on Wednesday, said the group endorses the demands of the Niger Delta youths in the now viral video, adding that that they have eventually run out of patience.

According to him, the issues raised by the militants are “true” and PANDEF has been clamouring that attention be given to them (issues).

“We had said the youths will run out of patience and that things cannot continue the way they have been going on. How can we explain that the region that produces the revenue for the country, the nation’s mainstay, oil resources, is one of the highest in the unemployment rate in the country? And you know of the population in the Niger Delta, about 50 percent of the people are under 30.

“As it were, we are sitting on a time bomb. These young men are unemployed, there are no jobs. Oil companies have refused to relocate their oil companies to the Niger Delta, that the Vice President, then as Acting President, directed in 2017. Rather what we saw recently, is the Federal Government relocating the corporate headquarters of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), from Lagos to Abuja; it flies in the place of common sense.

“In the midst of Niger Delta people demanding that oil companies relocate their operational headquarters to the Niger Delta, the Federal Government should have shown an example by relocating the headquarters of the DPR to any of the states in the Niger Delta. Instead it was relocated to Abuja on very very untenable excuses.

“The region is degraded economically. What we have today is a story of struggle for survival because there are no jobs, livelihoods have decimated, our communities, our waterways, our environment have been degraded. And then, you see resources from the land making billionaires everyday, out of an industry that operates in our backyard,” Robinson said.

Recalling PANDEF’s 16-point agenda that was presented to President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016, he noted that if the issues raised have been addressed, “the story today would have been different. What we see is a complete lack of interest, total insensitivity, total neglect of the Niger Delta region.”

Positing that the group is “right to say things are wrong” the PANDEF publicity secretary noted that while the military “have become forces of intimidation and oppression in the Niger Delta, intimidating our young people, carelessly and unnecessarily destroying our communities on flimsy excuses, no community in the North East or North West, that the bandits and terrorists are marauding and ravaging, have been destroyed by the military.

“Sheikh Gumi told the nation that the military are aware of the location of these bandits in the forests, but no forest has been decimated. But communities in the Niger Delta are being decimated. So these inconsistencies will not go on forever. The youths are running out of patience.

“PANDEF as a responsible organization would denounce any act of violence because the ramification is that the adverse effect will be more on our people. We will continue to assuage our youths. They have every right to be angry in the face of these inconsistencies.

“We completely endorse the demands of the young people. But we will continue to ask and appeal to our young people that employing violence is not the best answer at this time and we should not go back to what it was. So that we don’t give reasons and excuses to our adversaries to further degrade and devastate our communities that have been impoverished. And further throw our people into suffering and hardship.

“Because the consequences will be on the ordinary woman or man in the village. Our grandmothers, grandfathers, children, our wives, our sisters, daughters are the people that will suffer because they are insensitive and that is the truth.

“We completely endorse the demands of our young people, but we appeal that going to destroy infrastructures in Lagos and Abuja, is not the answer. There are Nigerians who genuinely support the Niger Delta cause, who are not Niger Deltans.”

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Bandits are ethnic militants seeking survival – Gumi

By Alao Abiodun

Renowned Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Gumi has stated bandits are militants fighting for ethnic survival.

The former captain in the Nigeria Defence Academy (NDA) spoke on Channels Television’s Politics Today on Monday.

Speaking about his experience with the armed herders, he said: “It is a complex issue. It is an ethnic war and the solution is dialogue and teaching them Islam. To them, they are talking about an ethnic existence.”

Asked if the armed bandits are Nigerians, Gumi said: “They are Nigerians. I hate to call them bandits. They are militants fighting for ethnic survival.

“They want to defend themselves. If there is peace, you will not see such things as banditry, kidnapping among others.

“If you are talking about victims, they have more victims on their side than others. To them, they are fighting a war of existence.

“If you have seen them (herdsmen), you will discover they have nothing like civilization other than the guns they are carrying.

“We are trying to talk to them to drop their guns. There are peace processes ongoing and they are ready to put down their arms. They are not killing people; they are just engaged in ethnic revenge.

“The Fulani herdsmen are victims of military excesses. The armed herdsmen are kidnapping to make money.”

He added: “When bandits go to a Fulani village, they go in groups and ransack the village just to revenge. It is a form of revenge. It is not because of criminality, it is ethnic revenge.”

When asked why it is difficult for the military intelligence to know where the bandits are, the cleric said: “The military knows where they are. When they go in and start killing, the military realised they are creating a monster. The Federal Government should go in and negotiate.”

While clarifying that the armed herdsmen are not Boko Haram insurgents, he said: “I can say categorically that they are not Boko Haram but we have to be very careful.

“The Boko Haram we know are internationally connected but so far, they are not Boko Haram; they have some elements of Boko Haram and they presented it to the government.

“They are citizens, they recognize the government and they are happy now that Boko Haram is not involved in their cause. We should come in now and give them the full teachings of Islam.”

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● FG has dislodged bandits, insurgents, militants in Nasarawa – Gov Sule

From Romanus Ugwu, Abuja

The Governor of Nasarawa State, Abdullahi Sule, has confirmed that the federal authorities has acted promptly to dislodge bandits, insurgents and militants gathering in his state to launch assaults.

Governor Sule had whereas visiting the State House to see President Muhammadu Buhari final week raised the alarm over the gathering of insurgents, bandits and militants in the state preparatory to launch assaults.

Thanking the President for intervening promptly to sort out the insecurity in his state for the second time inside one 12 months, the governor expressed pleasure that the federal authorities has restored normalcy in the state.

Asked if the scenario has improved, Governor Sule mentioned: ‘The scenario has improved drastically and as you understand, as soon as you’re taking safety difficulty to Mr President, he takes motion instantly. The final time I used to be with him generally in August final 12 months, he instantly took motion that was capable of dislodge the bandits and militants.

‘When I cried to him again last week, he took immediate action, they went there again and were able to disperse them. For now, we don’t have them once more as I communicate to you. That is the excellent news,’ he mentioned.

Governor Sule equally spoke on the ongoing APC membership registration and revalidation train, noting: ‘I had a really fruitful assembly with the seven-member committee despatched to Nasarawa State earlier than leaving my state this Monday. We mentioned all the points regarding the train.

‘For us in Nasarawa, we’re the dwelling of CPC, which is one of the strongest arms that shaped the APC. We take into account Nasarawa the dwelling of peace the place the complete half is united.

‘I’m one of the governors who can beat my chest and say that I contested towards 10 different aspirants and all of them grew to become members of our marketing campaign council, helped to marketing campaign for me and win the election.

‘So, that is the kind of spirit we have in Nasarawa State. The membership registration is an excellent exercise and I advice non-APC members and the general public to identify with it, register and become members of our party,’ Governor Sule appealed.

On his mission at the nationwide secretariat of the ruling {party}, he mentioned: ‘I’m on a go to to my dwelling and like each true politician who will need to have a base, I’m at my base at the APC headquarters. Specifically, I’m right here to see members of my APC household.

‘I came to Abuja for something different but felt that I have to visit my party because I can’t come and return with out stepping to see members of my household.

‘So, I am here to see my party chairman and members of the Caretaker Committee as well as other party members. In doing so, I coincidentally met them discussing something very important, and I had to make little of my own contribution,’ he mentioned.

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● Uzodimma slams curfew on Orlu after soldiers, militants clash

By Chris Njoku, Owerri

Residents of Orlu Local Government Area of Imo State on Monday fled their houses following a sporadic taking pictures by troopers and suspected members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) and its outfit, the Eastern Security Network (ESN).

At least 10 individuals have been feared lifeless, in response to sources.

Reports stated the quantity of casualties may be extra.

A viral video confirmed our bodies mendacity on the streets or Orlu, together with that of a girl, stated to have been hit by a stray bullet.

Vehicles conveying armed troopers have been additionally seen. A clip confirmed troopers mendacity on the floor and showing to take goal.

Governor Hope Uzodimma declared a nightfall to daybreak curfew in 9 of the affected council areas.

It was gathered many homes and outlets have been burnt in reprisal by troopers following the alleged killing of one of them.

Last Friday, a policeman was additionally allegedly killed at Okporo, Orlu by some safety operatives believed to be ESN members.

Scores have been wounded in the ensuing confusion.

According to the state authorities, “innocent citizens were killed and maimed in the process”.

Uzodimma, in an announcement by his spokesman Oguwike Nwachuku, stated the curfew adopted disturbing report on the actions of a bunch of militants that unleashed mayhem on residents of Orlu.

He urged safety companies to fish out the perpetrators with out fail.

The governor stated the curfew was an interim measure to instantly restore the peace in the space.

It will start at 6pm and finish at 6 am day by day and impacts Orlu, Orsu, Oru East, Oru West, Ideato North, Ideato South, Njaba, Isu, Nwangele and Nkwerre native authorities areas of Orlu zone.

Addressing a information convention, Uzodimma stated the perpetrators of the carnage have been out to color an image of close to break down of regulation and order in Orlu space.

The governor suggested the residents of the affected LGAs to conform with the curfew as anybody who violates it will be handled as a suspect.

Uzodimma stated safety companies have been directed to hold out a 24-hour patrol, including that law-abiding residents can go about their companies with out worry of molestation.

The governor condoled with the households of the bereaved and assured them that those that dedicated the heinous crime in opposition to them and their loves ones will not go unpunished.

The governor stated: “This afternoon, I acquired a really disturbing report on the actions of a bunch of militants who unleashed a taking pictures spree in the Orlu space of the state, killing and maiming harmless citizen in the course of.

“I’m completely appalled by this unhappy report which seems to color an image of close to breakdown of regulation and order in the Orlu space.

“The authorities condemns in its entirety this act of excessive hooliganism and brigandage.

“This is totally unacceptable to this administration. Those behind this callous barbarism will absolutely remorse their actions.

“Consequently, I’ve directed the safety companies to fish out with out fail, all these behind the carnage and instantly carry them to e book.

“Let no one be in any doubt that the perpetrators of this dastardly act will ever escape justice. I assure them that they will pay for their cruelty against a peace-loving, innocent people.”

The governor assured Imo those that the state of affairs in Orlu space is beneath management.

“Every safety measure needed has been put in place to make sure that law-abiding residents can go about their companies in the affected areas with none worry of molestation.

“The authorities sincerely condoles with the households of the bereaved and all the victims of the unlucky incident.

“I assure them that those who committed the heinous crime against them and their loved ones will never go unfurnished,” the governor stated.

A former minister of aviation Chief Femi Fani-Kayode tweeted: “The clash between troopers and members ESN in Orlu, Imo State has resulted in some deaths & that is unlucky.

“I call for restraint on both sides. The soldiers ought to be deployed against killer herdsmen and not ESN. When will Buhari learn?”

Another former minister, Oby Ezekwesili, stated: “Can the @HQNigerianArmy  and @DefenceInfoNG please talk what’s going on right here in Orlu Town to the public?

“It actually has the look of a battle scene. Is a complete city beneath fight operation from our Military?

“Can the C-in-C let Nigerians know who ordered this operation?”

Efforts to get the response of the Nigerian Army on the disaster in Orlu have been unsuccessful.

Director of Army Public Relations, Brigadier General Sagir Musa, did not decide his calls or reply to textual content messages despatched to his telephone.

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Tension as N’Delta militants vow to resume hostilities, present 11 new demands to the Federal Government

 

MILITANT groups from the nine states of the Niger Delta region, which vowed to resume hostilities, last Monday in support of #EndSARS protests, triggered fresh anxiety, weekend, as it presented 11 new demands to the Federal Government.

Leader of the militants under the auspices of Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, RNDA, self-styled “Major General” Johnmark Ezonebi, in an electronic mail statement, said the coalition had communicated multinational oil companies to evacuate their staff to avoid human causalities.

RNDA stated: “In support of the existing demands by the #EndSARS protesters, we have added new demands that could stop the mayhem on foreign oil multinationals, oil and gas infrastructures and the Joint Military Task Force involved in the Operation Crocodile Smile in the region.”

We have vowed to take the destiny of our region into our hands and kick-start the occupation of all the major oil wells and the oil platforms, we will also bring down all major crude oil production pipelines to zero,” it added.

First on the demands of the RNDA is: “Urgent release of the N98 billion gas flare penalty fund to the host communities of the Niger Delta, which are funds domiciled in the Federation Accounts through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, by the International Oil Companies, IOCs, as payment to compensate the communities being affected in the creeks of the Niger Delta due to their environmental pollutions and environmental hazard caused the multinational oil companies.”

The group recalled the President Muhammadu Buhari administration withdrew $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account sometime in 2019 to acquire heavy weapons to fight Boko Haram insurgents in the North East, adding: “This is wicked and insensitive to the peace accord signed with the people of the Niger Delta region, most especially the RNDA militant group that accepted the ceasefire agreement on 21st of August 2016 and nothing has been done so far.”

“Secondly, we demand the total control of our God-given resources in the region. If some parts of northern states are allowed to operate and will be given license to engage in illegal mining and sale of gold, it means it is time the people of the Niger Delta region, especially the Ijaw ethnic nationality be given equal opportunity to go ahead with artisan and local refining of crude oil in the creeks without any form of intimidation and harassment from the Nigerian government as well.

“Thirdly, RNDA demands that riverine areas in Niger Delta be connected to the cities with roads and bridges with provisions in the 2021 budget. A road project, for instance, should connect Warri to Ogulagha, Burutu local government area, which is a host to Forcardos Terminal, producing over one million barrels of crude oil that contribute trillions of dollars to the federal government on daily basis.

“Fourthly, the proposed 2021 budget, which appropriated billions of naira to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, should be withdrawn and put on hold and the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs should not be allowed to defend the proposed budget until the substantive board of the NDDC is inaugurated and sworn in by President Muhammadu Buhari.

“We also demand that Senator Godswill Akpabio be mandated to hold a town hall meeting with the traditional rulers, stakeholders and leadership of RNDA militant group in the creek in order to show a genuine intention that the budget proposal will not witness embezzlement and diversion of billions to Akpabio and his cronies’ pockets without any tangible and practical development in the creeks of the region.”

“And we also demand immediate take-off and re-opening of the Burutu Seaport by the federal government, which should be included in the 2021 budget.

“More importantly to the RNDA militant group, we call for an emergency review of the Revenue Allocation Act in other to give a proper interpretation of the 13 per cent derivation funds that will not be deposited in the hands of the so-called inhuman wicked corrupt minded Niger Delta governors that has been pocketing the billions of naira on monthly basis from the federation allocation account without getting to the oil-producing communities in the creeks of Niger Delta and without any accountability to the long-neglected emancipated oil-producing communities that are the original owners of the 13 per cent derivation funds, according to section 162 subsection 2 of the 1991 constitution as amended.

“So we demand proper interpretation of this Act by the Attorney General of the Federation as to the chief law officer of the country because the people of the Niger Delta oil-producing communities are tired of this perpetual man-made injustice caused by the so-called Niger Delta callous inhuman wicked and corrupt minded governors.

“We also called for a review of the four-point agreement with the Host Communities of Nigeria, HOSTCOM, which was submitted to the federal government by the national chairman, Prince Mike Emuh, and has not been approved up till date. The provisions of the agreement which include 10,000 pipeline surveillance jobs to the oil-producing communities through the leadership of HOSTCOM has not been approved.

“Yet the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC went ahead to award pipeline surveillance contract to one individual, Chief Captain Hosa Wells Okunbor, who is the managing director of Ocean Marine Solutions Company that is handling the pipeline surveillance security contract worth over 18. 6 million dollars annually just for OML30, which is TFP pipeline security surveillance contract alone.

“Not to talk of the Trans Escravos Warri Kaduna pipeline amounting to over 20. 5 million dollars annually and that of the Bonny Nembe Creek trunk pipeline surveillance job that worth over 2.7 million dollars contract in the creek of Niger Delta. RNDA and HOSTCOM are not benefiting from these billion dollars pipeline surveillance security contract jobs in the hands of one individual from Edo state and the situation will not be accepted any more in the creek as far as the pipeline surveillance security contract job is a concern.

“Therefore, RNDA demands pipeline security surveillance job to accommodate the members of the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers group, who are over 5,000 in the creek and we will no longer allow this to happen any more in the creek or else we will bring down all the pipelines in our creek within the stipulated time of ultimatum.

“Furthermore, we demand the release of the 10 licenses for modular refineries in Niger Delta, which the federal government has not approved up till this moment, yet the Federal Executive Council is approving billions and trillions every week in the presidency through the sales of our crude oil on 1.86 million dollars to 2.2 million dollars barrels on daily basis without any tangible,” the militants said.

#Tension #NDelta #militants #vow #resume #hostilities #present #demands #Federal #Government
Tension as N’Delta militants vow to resume hostilities, present 11 new demands to the Federal Government

Credit: www.lucipost.com

Niger Delta militants put oil coys on red alert over planned attacks

Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

 

 Renegade militant groups from the nine states of the Niger Delta region under the aegis of the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) have again serve notice to oil multinational companies operating in the Niger Delta region on the planned resumption of hostilities in the region.

 They have, therefore, warned them to evacuate their workers from rigs, platforms and manifolds noting that the safety of foreign nationals working in the region is no longer safe.

 The RNDA, a coalition of nine renegade militant groups, had before the shooting at Lekki Toll gate announced their support for the #EndSARS protesters against police brutality and poor welfare for the citizens in to the country and threatened to resume hostilities against oil multinationals and oil and gas assets of the country in the region.

 The group in the statement issued over the weekend via electronic mail and signed by Major Gen John-mark Ezon Ebi also known as Obama said following the alleged shooting of innocent protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate and the mayhem that followed in some parts of the country it had decided to take the destiny of the region into its hands and kick-start the occupation of all the major oil wells and the oil platforms.

The group which demanded compensation for oil communities over environmental pollution also asked for the control of “our God given resources in the region.”

 According to it, if some part of northern states are allowed to operate and will be given license to engage in illegal mining and sale of gold., it is time for the people of the Niger Delta region, especially the Ijaw ethnic nationalities were also given equal opportunity to go ahead with artisan and local refining of crude oil in the creeks without any form of intimidation and harassment from the Nigerian government.

 The group  rejected the proposed N13 trillion plus budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to Nigerians, noting that it said did not capture any tangible and significant human capital development project for the oil-producing communities in the creek of the Niger Delta region.

The statement read in part: “The release of the ten licenses of the Modular Refineries in the Niger Delta region has not been approved up till this moment. Therefore, we cannot trust this federal government under President Muhammadu Buhai because we cannot fold our hands while billions and trillions are been approved by the federal executive council meeting every week.

‘And it is unfortunate that the implementation of any of the 16-point demands have not seen the light of the day and it is with deep regret that the visit of the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to the creeks of Niger Delta region was just a joke and ploy to continue to milk the region dry, and it was just a laughing stock to the people of the region as one of their normal usual tricks to fool the people of the region. We demand for an urgent release of the gas flare penalty funds that the federal government refuse to release over the years.

 “And failure to do that, the federal government will witness massive destruction of oil pipelines oil facilities and installations across the length and breadth of the Niger Delta region in a well-coordinated attack tagged “Cripple the Economy with Zero Crude Oil Production,” and there will be no more oil funds to finance the 2021 budget.


#Niger #Delta #militants #put #oil #coys #red #alert #planned #attacks
Niger Delta militants put oil coys on red alert over planned attacks

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Presidential Anmesty: We won’t accept interim head, ex-Niger Delta militants say

Okwe Obi, Abuja

Former Niger Delta militants have called on President Mohammadu Buhari to appoint a substantive head for the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP), vowing that they will not accept an interim leader.

The ex-agitators contend that, with an Interim administrator, their agenda would not be fully realised, saying the person stands a risk of being removed at anytime.

In a statement signed by the General Camp Leader, Amaechi Adibuo, and Leader of Bakana Akukrokro Fie Bakana, Melvin Thompson, they urged ‘the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari to jettison the idea of an Interim Administrator for the Programme.’

While lamenting the mismanagement of funds released for the scheme by some persons, they claimed that most of the former Heads of PAP did the bidding of individuals ‘whose interest was to amass wealth for themselves and their families to the detriment of training and empowering beneficiaries of the programme that are still stranded years after accepting the Federal Government Amnesty.’

Adibuo advised those who do not have the interest of the ‘realistic development and genuine empowerment of the youth, to steer clear of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, as henceforth, they will apply all legal means to expose and embarrass them.’

He appreciated President Buhari for ensuring the prompt payment of stipends to beneficiaries and for ensuring that the region benefits from the efforts of the Federal Government.


#Presidential #Anmesty #wont #accept #interim #exNiger #Delta #militants

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Seven killed as militants clash in Bayelsa

Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

Seven suspected militants have been killed in a bloody shoot-out at Isiah- Ama, Oluasiri, Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

According to investigations the suspected militants who also engaged in kidnapping and oil bunkering had heated arguments among themselves on Wednesday night which resulted in a shoot-out that claimed seven of them.

Sources in the area fingered three armed militants groups with location at Izakiri, Ben- Ama and Isiah-Ama as those involved in the shoot-out.

Findings indicated that the argument started when one of the groups was accused of withholding some special high calibre guns being rotated for use by the different groups during kidnapping operations in the creeks.

The argument snowballed into the bloody clash which lasted for several hours and seven casualties including two siblings.

“We also know that the affected gangs who lost foot soldiers have buried their dead because the community does not allow for fresh bodies to be kept in the community. Among the dead are two boys from a single parent.

“ Every security agencies are aware of the illegal activities of these boys. The umbrella body of Ijaw youths are aware and have kept quiet. The Oluasiri as a community have cried out severally over the activities of these boys but there has been no action” the source said.

The paramount ruler of Isiah- Ama, HRH Iyerite Chiefson Awululu in an interview explained that the gun battle was among militant factions in the area.

He said “The gun battle lasted for hours. And they have suffered some deaths. From reports reaching me from my subjects, no innocent person was killed in the battle. And we have reported to the council chairman.”

The Chairman of Nembe Local Government Council, Hon Alalibo West confirmed that the incident have been reported to Government Douye Diri, the State Commissioner of Police and other relevant security agencies.

“We have reported to the relevant authorities and have requested for gun boat patrol to calm the situation.”

The Police Public Relations Officer(PPRO), Mr Asinim Butswat who confirmed the incident in a statement said the Police with assistance from other sister security agencies have commenced investigation on the incident.

“The Bayelsa State Police Command in synergy with other sister security agencies in the state, have commenced investigations into the sporadic gunshots witnessed at Oluasiri, Nembe Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.

Information at the disposal of the Bayelsa State Police Command revealed that, on 19 August, 2020, at about 1945 hours, there were sporadic gunshots witnessed by the residents of Oluasiri Community in Nembe Local Government Area of the State. It is believed that the gunshots were as a result of a clash by rival militant groups in the creeks of Oluasiri community.

The Commissioner of Police Bayelsa State Command CP Mike Okoli wishes to reassure members of the Public that a joint operation by security agencies is ongoing to fish out the perpetrators and ensure the safety of lives of residents of the Community and the protection of critical infrastructures.”


Reference: NAN, Sunnewsonline

Troops raid pirates, militants camp, kill 6 in Bayelsa

The Defence Headquarters says the troops of Operation DELTA SAFE, on Tuesday, in Bayelsa, raided the Pirates/Militants’ camp and Kidnappers’ hideouts, eliminating six criminals.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj.-Gen. John Enenche, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja.

Enenche said the troops, acting  on credible intelligence, monitored movements of a suspected pirate/sea  gang leader, who had sneaked into town from Port Harcourt, in the company of another known notorious kidnapper.

He explained that the troops thereafter raided the pirates’ camp at Tukugbene-Ayama ijaw Local Government Area, to arrest both suspects and their gang members.

According to him, upon arrival at the personal jetty of the suspect, troops met heavy resistance from harassing gun fire from pirates/militants in five boats that approached from adjoining creek.

“But the overwhelming fire power of our troops led to the forceful withdrawal of the pirates/militants, with various degree of gunshots wounds.

“The gallant troops sustained the fire fight until five of the pirates/militants were neutralised ashore.

“Furthermore, three of the attacking boats were sunk while the occupants with various degree of gunshots wounds escaped into the river.

“In the process, troops recovered three boats from the pirates.

“Additionally, our troops took over the jetty and advanced to the objective area which was empty,” he said.

Enenche said that the troops cordon off the  area and conducted a search of the building where the suspects were believed to be residing and thereafter cleared the building.

He disclosed that the troops recovered three AK47 rifles with a magazine, two 200 HP Yamaha outbound engines and three 115HP Yamaha outbound engines during the operation.

The coordinator further disclosed that troops also raided an identified hideout belonging to a notorious criminal/kidnapper and oil thief along Mbiama East West road.

According to him, during the operation, the troops arrested the kingpin while attempting to escape and recovered items which include a locally made pistol and cartridges..

“(The suspect) is reported to be a close ally to a notorious criminal known as VIP suspected to be one of the mastermind of the killing of 5 Battalion Soldiers around East West road.

“The Military High Command congratulates the gallant troops for their dexterity and encourages them to remain resolute in curtailing the activities of pirates/militants in the Niger Delta region of the country,” he said. (NAN)


Reference: NAN, Sunnewsonline

NDDC:  Ex-militants warns against sabotage of forensic probe

 Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

The ex-militants group under the auspices of the 21st Century Youths of the Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience (21st CYNDAC) have called on President Mohammadu Buhari, to ensure that the forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) is completed and not truncated.

21st CYNDAC coordinator, ‘General’ Izon Ebi in a press statement  via email commended the President for declaring a forensic audit agency and for appointing Senator Godswill Akpabio as a Minister and entrusting him with the supervision and power over the NDDC.

According to the ex-militants, there is a grand plan by some influential politicians to undermine the relative peace in the Niger Delta region because of the exposure of atrocities committed by some leaders from the region.

Izon- Ebi who congratulated the 8th president of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Peter Igbifa and his team on their victory at the elections in Oporoza, Delta State urged the new IYC President to reposition the organization for optimum service delivery, especially in critical agencies like the NDDC and other relevant agencies to monitor and track down democratic derivable which in the immediate past has been hijacked by greedy politicians with zero benefit to the people of the region.

The statement read in part “As partners in progress we urge the new leadership to work with other critical stakeholders to reposition the organization for optimum service delivery especially in critical agencies like the NDDC and other relevant agencies to monitor and track down democratic dividends which in the immediate past has been hijacked by greedy politicians with zero benefit to the people of the region.

“To the new executives, we say that the time for politics and brinkmanship is over and now is the time to work for the betterment of the Ijaw nation and the Niger Delta region.

“We also use this medium to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for declaring a forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission and appointing Senator Godswill Akpabio as a minister and entrusting him with the supervision and power over the NDDC that has led to the exposure of the numerous atrocities committed by our so called leaders and elders of the Niger Delta.

“We therefore use this medium to call on Mr President to ensure that the forensic audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission is completed and not truncated”


Ex-militants give Ondo gov’t 7-day ultimatum for payment of entitlements

Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure

Ex-militants in Ondo State have issued a seven day ultimatum to the state government to pay all their outstanding entitlements.

The repentant militants under the auspices of ‘Action Crocodile Group’, led by Bowei Felix (aka Kakadukuduku 1 of the Niger Delta), issued the ultimatum at a press conference in Ore, headquarters of Odigbo Local Government Area of the state.

Also, the ex militants urged the federal and state governments to involve concerned groups in their amnesty programmes.

They said it is unfortunate that the current administration promised to cater for them after submitting their arms and ammunition but nothing was done for them.

The ex-militants lamented that government deviated from the original plan by paying some of them leaving majority to their plight.

Bowei stated that, ”Rice, money and vehicles were distributed to some of the militant groups, while many were neglected during the last Christmas and Easter.”

He urged the government to bring the militant groups together and settle their entitlements for peace to reign.

Besides, he appealed to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu to fix a date to dialogue with them and release funds for their welfare and that of their families.

At the meeting were other ex-militant leaders, including’ Generals’ Akpodinwomi George, Agbala Pouye, Lady Unu (Woman General), Chief Ogidogo, Soriwen Raphael, Chris Iteghi, Bekwei Iyaboerigha and Ebisco Serum, among others.

‘Implement PANDEF/FG agreement now or face our wrath’ – ex-Niger Delta militants

Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa

Ex-Niger Delta militants under the auspices of the 21st Century Youths of the Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience (21st CYNDAC) have demanded the immediate implementation of the agreement the Federal Government had with leaders of the region.

The group warned that failure of the Federal Government to respect the agreement it has with Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) would trigger renewed hostilities in the region.

According to them, the delay in the implementation has stalled the peaceful resolution of the many of problems facing the Niger Delta region.

A statement signed by ‘General’ Izon Ebi on behalf of the group urged the federal government to revisit the 16 point agenda tabled by the elders or risk a major crisis in the region that may cripple the fragile economy.

They also stated they are in total in support of the call of the Gbaramatu kingdom for the Federal Government to keep to the letters of their agreement.

The militants in the statement made available to our correspondent in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, lamented the failure of state and federal legislators, governors and those elected into positions of authority from the region in meeting the expectation of the people.

They condemned the alleged harassment of ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, in spite of his role in the Federal Government’s amnesty and return of peace to the Niger Delta region.

The statement reads in part:

‘It is rather unfortunate that the goose which lays the eggs for the entire nation to enjoy is left to wallow in abject poverty and neglect. The role of politicians in the state and federal level has been abysmal. It is like they are scared and totally not in tune with the needs, expectations, and agreement reached between the federal government and the communities, thus setting the communities on an edge that can snowball to another conflagration sooner than later.

‘Even more worrisome is the vilification of government Tompolo, who has contributed immensely towards the realisation of peace in the Niger Delta through his embrace of the amnesty program.

His positive contributions laid the crucible for the establishment of the maritime university. Various other youth empowerment programs and community development projects can be traced to this same selfless illustrious Niger Delta son.

It thus confounds all logical reasoning why the one that is in tune with the plight of his people is vilified, hounded and his properties seized on fabricated allegations that hold no merit. The 21st-century youths of the Niger Delta and agitators with conscience and the people of the Niger Delta are tired of this cycle of motion without progression while outsiders are the main beneficiaries of the wealth of our region.’

Militants threaten to resume hostilities over Akpabio’s chairmanship of NDDC Interim Magt Cmtte

Joe Effiong, Uyo

Thirteen militant groups in the Niger Delta have threatened to rescind the  ceasefire earlier signed with the Federal Government on the amnesty programme  over what they termed massive corruption in the Niger Delta Development Commission.

Operating on the platform of  the  Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators (CNDA),  the group cited  the reason for issuing the threat to cancel the ceasefire agreement to the continued refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to accede to their demands to  sack Niger Delta Affairs minister,  Senator Godswill Akpabio as well as dissolve the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), which, according to them, reeks with “massive corruption.”

The CNDA also condemned the unwillingness of the president to address the issues of marginalisation of the Niger Delta in terms of appointments in the oil and gas sector, particularly the replacement of the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with somebody from the region.

The CNDA stated these in a statement in Uyo, yesterday, signed by leaders of the 13 groups namely Gen. John Duku for Niger Delta Watchdogs; Ekpo Ekpo for Niger Delta Volunteers;  Osarolor Nedam for Niger Delta Warriors and Major-Gen. Henry Okon Etete for Niger Delta People’s Fighters.

Others are Major-Gen. Asukwo Henshaw for Bakassi Freedom Fighters;  Major-Gen. Ibinabo Horsfall for Niger Delta Movement for Justice, Major-Gen. Duke Emmanson for Niger Delta Fighters Network,  Major-Gen. Inibeghe Adams for Niger Delta Freedom Mandate, among others.

It read: “The Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators has withdrawn its ceasefire and demanded for the immediate removal of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio,  as well as the replacement of the Group Managing Director of the NNPC with a qualified indigene of the Niger Delta region.

“The General Assembly of the Coalition also condemns the laissez-faire attitude of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari towards the continued sufferings and yearnings of the people of the Niger Delta.

“It is also paradoxical for a government that prides itself as one that gives zero-tolerance to corruption to keep mum over series of allegations of corrupt practices involving APC stalwarts in various MDAs including the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs,  NDDC and the Presidential Amnesty Office. What the Buhari government is doing to the region is bringing us back to the period 2005-2009 which witnessed the rise of militancy in the region and which also laid the foundation for the establishment of the Amnesty programme by the Yar’Adua administration to neutralise hostilities,” the group said.

Niger Delta militants threaten to resume hostilities over Akpabio’s chairmanship of NDDC Interim Magt Cmtte

Joe Effiong, Uyo

Thirteen militant groups in the Niger Delta have threatened to rescind the ceasefire they earlier signed with the Federal Government’s amnesty programme over what they condemn as massive corruption in Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

Operating on the platform of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators(CNDA), the groups say the reason for cancelling the ceasefire agreement is due to what they consider to be the continued refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to accede to their earlier demands which include the sack of the Niger Delta Affairs Minister, Godswill Akpabio, as well as the dissolution of the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC which, according to them, reeks with massive corruption under Akpabio.

The CNDA accused the President of unwillingness to address the nagging issues of marginalisation of the Niger Delta in terms of appointments in the oil and gas sector, particularly the replacement of the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with somebody from the region.

The CNDA stated their grievance in a press release made available on Wednesday in Uyo,

The release was signed by leaders of the 13 groups namely General John Duku for Niger Delta Watchdogs, General Ekpo Ekpo for Niger Delta Volunteers, General Osarolor Nedam for Niger Delta Warriors and Major-General Henry Okon Etete for Niger Delta People’s Fighters.

Others are Major-General Asukwo Henshaw for Bakassi Freedom Fighters, Major-General Ibinabo Horsfall for Niger Delta Movement for Justice, Major-General Duke Emmanson for Niger Delta Fighters Network, Major-General Inibeghe Adams for Niger Delta Freedom Mandate among others.

The release stated in part:

‘The Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators has withdrawn its ceasefire and demanded for the immediate removal of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, as well as the replacement of the Group Managing Director of the NNPC with a qualified indigene of the Niger Delta region.

‘The General Assembly of the Coalition also condemns the laissez-faire attitude of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari towards the continued sufferings and yearnings of the people of the Niger Delta.

‘It is also paradoxical for a government that prides itself as one that gives zero-tolerance to corruption to keep mum over series of allegations of corrupt practices involving APC stalwarts in various MDAs including the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, the NDDC and the Presidential Amnesty Office.

‘What the Buhari government is doing to the region is bringing us back to the period 2005-2009 which witnessed the rise of militancy in the region and which also laid the foundation for the establishment of the Amnesty Programme by the Yar’Adua administration to neutralize hostilities.’

The CNDA said they should not be blamed or held responsible for any unforeseen actions that may result from the President’s refusal to address the issues raised by them.