Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders threatens to resume attacks on oil facilities come September 30

MILITANT group the Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders (NDRC) has warned that it will recommence attacks on oil facilities on September 30 because the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (Pandef) had not delivered following its talks with the federal government.


Over the last two years, Niger delta militants have stepped up their attacks against oil facilities in protest over the perceived government reneging on the agreed amnesty programme. In response, the federal government decided to begin talks with the militants and Pandef, led by Ijaw leader Chief Edwin Clark, had spearheaded negotiations, which have led to a suspension of attacks for now.


Yesterday, NDRC expressed disappointment with the leadership of Pandef, saying it had failed the agitators in negotiations and has not been able to achieve an acceptable level of social and economic prosperity for the region. It also blamed the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) for failing the people and the region.


Unhappy with the progress of the talks, the agitators who lashed out at the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Pastor Usani Uguru Usani, accused him of being insensitive to the plight of the people. NDRC, spokesperson, Izon Ebi, said it was speaking on behalf of the agitators, who jointly signed the agreement with the federal government to observe the ceasefire  in return for a holistic solution for the problem facing the region


Mr Ebi added: “We have resolved and are more determined to use all necessary means to take back our heritage by stopping all oil and gas exploration and exportation in Niger Delta come September 30,  2017. When that time comes, heaven will not fall as we have resolved that resource control, fiscal federalism and devolution of powers  are the only panacea.


"Anything short of that will not be acceptable to NDRC and the 21st century agitators of the Niger Delta. Our elders and distinguished personalities of Pandef have tried in their advocacy, although we realise that the balancing act of being elder statesmen and resource control advocates can be a very touchy act, which is why our goal is in consonance with the vision of Niger Delta’s emerging youth leaders in the clamour for resource control."


He added that the Nigerian nation should be grateful to Pandef and most especially to acting president Professor Yemi Osinbajo, who was so sincere in trying to do things in line with the best global practices of this 21st century. According to Mr Ebi, however, the Nigerian elite and state, who feed fat on the resources of the Niger Delta do not care about the plight of the Niger Delta people.


“Our grievance with government is that after the consolatory statement of the government by Professor Osinbajo, nothing is on the ground to show sincerity by government. Our grievance is borne out of the insincerity of Nigeria’s past and current leaders who after using out wealth and resources to build both Lagos and Abuja and even stealing for themselves and their unborn children, decided to bequeath a degraded environment to us and our children,” Mr Ebi added.