Militants in oil rich Niger Delta that crippled production between 2015 and 2016 have threatened again to go into trenches if President Muhammadu Buhari refuses to listen to their demands.
The militants belonging to various groups had entered into a truce with Nigeria to maintain the peace and allow oil production without hitch but have threatened to resume hostility.
The coalition of nine militant groups on the platform of of Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, RNDA, on January 5, 2021, backed out of peace talks with the Federal Government.
They are accusing President Buhari of not doing well for Niger Delta and for illegally appointing Mr Akwa Okon as Sole Administrator of Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
The peace talks between the RNDA and the Federal Government was initiated, last year, by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege.
The National Coordinator of RNDA, who calls himself “Major General Johnmark Ezonebi, ,said: “The peace talk was recently threatened by the appointment of Mr Akwa Effiong Okon as sole administrator for NDDC, and the non-recognition of Niger Delta in the policy statements by President Buhari during the January 1 broadcast to the nation.”
Ezonebi threatened that with effect from January 6, 2020, the strike force units in the nine states of the zone “will kick start bombing and destruction of oil facilities and oil pipelines and major oil ships and vessels coming from Lagos to the creek of Niger Delta.
“The major vessels and ships are advised to withdraw their services to Warri, Escravos waters to Bonny NLNG Port Harcourt waters from the Gulf of Guinea to Nigeria waterways, henceforth.
He warned that any of the ships and the vessels that refuse to comply with the directive would be met with the fire power attack from the dreaded strike force units of the RNDA militant groups.
“The operation is code named Operation No Mercy Alfa Piper Zero Oil to save NDDC from the hands of politicians.’’
“We commend those genuinely agitating for the practical development of the zone and salute the neglected emancipated long suffering and most oppressed citizens of Nigerian state, who are from the oil-rich Niger Delta.
“Though the Commander-in-Chief, President Buhari, refused to acknowledge that the most significant zone in this country that has been sustaining the economy of this nation for all these years should be given proper attention before any other region.
“And for issues concerning the overall development of the entire Niger Delta, it is noted that Mr President refused to address these issues, including that of Niger Delta Development Commission.’’
RNDA said that President Buhari does not mean well for the development of the Niger Delta.
“The only solution to the issue on ground is for President Buhari to listen to the clarion call and agitations of the Niger Delta people. RNDA has decided to declare war and to blow up all the major oil pipelines and attack all the oil vessels entering Nigeria waters that is bringing in NNPC fuel tankers to the Lagos high sea.
“For this reason, RNDA has decided to declare curfew with the expiration date of 21 days in the entire Nigerian water ways from the Lagos sea Atlas Cove manifold, NLNG Bonny waters to the gulf coast of Guinea to Nigeria waters.’’
Niger Delta militants started violent agitation in 2008 and after a thorough confrontation with the military, Nigeria granted them amnesty and placed many of the youths on monthly pay and rehabilitation.
In 2015, Niger Delta Avenger (NDA), ordered its boys to destruction of oil installations, forcing major oil companies to relocate from the oil region.
The violence and damages kept Nigeria’s daily oil production at below 800,000 barrels from 2.2 million barrels, causing a serious dip in the nation’s revenue.