Paul Obiajunwo, Port Harcourt
Coalition militants in the Niger Delta region have said it will continue to maintain their initial position that all Northerners in the Niger Delta region should leave the environment before October 1, 2017.
They said the decision to go after expatriates, oil company directors and key staff of oil companies in the region is still intact.
Speaking through a statement issued shortly after a meeting by the Niger Delta Watchdogs, Niger Delta Volunteers, Niger Delta Peoples Fighters, Bakassi Freedom Fighters and Niger Delta Warriors, the coalition warned that All Northerners living in Niger Delta has been given three months notice to quit the Niger Delta before October 1, 2017.
The militants said If Nigeria should still remain one, the federal government should immediately restructure the country, adding that they are demanding 100 percent control of our resources, adequate infrastructure development and equal opportunity for all irrespective of ethnic background or political affiliation.
The statement signed by the Convener of the meeting, General John Duku and four others read in part, “ We still stand by our previous decisions, and we demand immediate return of oil blocs owned by Northerners back to the Niger Delta people.
“All oil & gas companies operating in oil blocs /wells illegally owned by Northerners should also vacate such oil blocs/wells/plat-forms before October 1, 2017. We demand immediate relocation of NNPC Headquarters to Niger Delta and replacement of the Group Managing Director of NNPC with an indigene of Niger Delta region.
“ All offices/boards/agencies that have anything to do with oil & gas should be relocated immediately to Niger Delta region and all non-Niger Delta Directors/staff replaced with Niger Delta indigenes.
“We are not surprise by the actions of the Inspector General of Police, Department of State Service and even the Army as they were all consulted and were fully aware of the threat by Northern Youths before it was issued, that is why they are incapable of making any arrest.”
The group also said that they are fully prepared to declare the Sovereign Republic of Niger Delta come October 1, 2017.
They called on all their compatriots to remain focused, united and steadfast, stressing that the battle is going to be brief but fierce, and that the liberation of their people and motherland is their target.
The statement further said: “We shall liberate our people from the slavery of Nigeria and the Northern parasites; we shall bring to our people a nation that shall guarantee equal opportunity, justice and respect for the rule of law and uphold the sanctity of human life.
“We want to sound this as a warning to all the Northerners living in Niger Delta to quit our land before October 1, 2017 as this is not just a threat, after October 1, 2017 any Northerner found within the Republic Niger Delta shall be seen as an intruder and shall be treated as such.
“We also use this opportunity to advise Oil & Gas companies in our territory to shut down further operations, PENGASSAN and NUPENG to warn/withdraw their members from Niger Delta before October 1, 2017 or risk their lives. Our next action will surprise you.
“We condemn in totality the meeting held by the Acting President with some Northern Elders and Youths, we see it as a grand conspiracy, any responsible government should have arrested those traitors.
“But rather turn round to meet with them and pleads for peace; does the Nigerian government see people from other zones as second class citizens? Why are they more important to the Acting President, why is it that Nigerian law is always weak when it involves the Northerners?