Niger Delta militants threaten fresh attacks

 Niger Delta militants have threatened to renew fresh attack on oil pipelines in the region, the latest threat followed comments made by the World Bank president that President Muhammadu Buhari requested it to concentrate development in northern Nigeria.

The militants, who call their groups the Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders, NDRC and the 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta, made this declaration via a statement by Izon Ebi on Friday. They also condemned the army’s Operation Crocodile Smile II.

Part of the statement read: “The current revelation of the World Bank and the present NNPC scandal has given us no choice but to activate our digital strike team to swing into action to stop further exploration and exportation of oil from the Niger Delta.

“For it is very obvious that this present administration is for the North only, without putting into cognizance that 90 per cent of the resources that sustain this nation is from the Niger Delta.

“We want to warn that this deliberate provocation and intimidation by the northern oppressors to provoke the Niger Delta people would be counterproductive because we are going to resist them with the last drop of our blood and a devastating response.”

The two groups said they were determined to commence attacks on oil infrastructures in the region. The militants said they would not allow their resources to be used to fund only the north and to intimidate them.

“The antics of their divide and rule tactics would never work again in the Niger Delta in this 21st century because the world and all honest Nigerians have seen the antics and tactics of the federal governments’ insensitivity and insincerity after the adoption of the 16-point agenda of PANDEF on the 3rd of August 2017.

“It is still very fresh in our minds the betrayal of Isaac Boro to keep Nigerian one, the killing of Ken Saro Wiwa and the Ogoni 9 and the dehumanization of their bodies with acid, the genocide in Odi, the genocide in Gbaramatu Kingdom,” the groups said.

The militants also said they were unshaken by the military presence in the region.

“We the NDRC and the 21st Century Youths and all affiliate organizations are determined to prove to the world that we are not cowards. The present military operation called Operation Crocodile Smile II that is currently going on in the Niger Delta would not deter us, neither would we be intimidated because the current agitators have succeeded in taking the struggle from analogue to digital.

“We have successfully proven to our oppressors before the ceasefire that we have the capacity to stop the flow of our God-given resources as our clamour and fight is for equity and justice. We have also succeeded in educating our brothers that we do not have any problem with the military because the military is a victim of the northern political elite’ conspiracy because of our God-given resources.”

It also flayed a seeming attempt to ‘Islamise the nation.’

“We want to warn that the planned Islamization and conqueror approach by this present government would be resisted with the last drop of our blood in this 21st century. We advise our brothers to be calm and steadfast and avoid any confrontation with the army because we the 21st-century youths and other agitators have the ability to stop the flow of our oil in our backyards.

“Our grievances and agitations are genuine and nobody can or would be able to intimidate us with whatever military operations because we already know their aims and objectives. We want to warn that we are closely watching their actions and inactions and would respond at the appropriate time as we still believe in the eminent members of the PANDEF that persuaded us to a ceasefire for sincere dialogue, for lasting peace for the rich, but impoverished people of the Niger Delta,” the groups added.

Peace recently returned to the Niger Delta region after serial peace visits to the area by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo early 2017 to show the government’s commitment to meeting the demands of the people of the region.