Militants operating on the Niger Delta waterways Photo: Abusidiqu/ file
The Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators (CNDA), a group of militants, on Thursday told Northerners and residents of the region who hail from the Southwest to leave before October 1.
The group also declared a resumption of hostilities in the region after the federal government kept dealing with it via intermediaries.
These are contained in a statement made available to newsmen in Abuja.
The group passed a vote of no confidence on the Edwin Clark-led Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), claiming he is not their representative nor can his forum solve the issues in the region.
The coalition, made up of eight militant groups – Niger Delta Watchdogs, Niger Delta Volunteers, Niger Delta Warriors, Niger Delta Peoples Fighters, Bakassi Freedom Fighters, Niger Delta Movement for Justice, Niger Delta Fighters Network, Niger Delta Freedom Mandate – stated its distrust in the talks between PANDEF and the federal government, describing the process as a ploy with the sole aim of deceiving the people.
The agitators expressed their intention of declaring the Republic of Niger Delta with the intention to work in tandem with the proposed Oduduwa and Biafra Republics.
Read the statement in full:
At the general council meeting of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators (CNDA) involving surveillance department, intelligence department and commanding officers held today to deliberate on the recent development in the Niger Delta and Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) meeting with the Acting President, after hours of careful deliberations, we unanimously resolved to commence Operation Zero Oil in the Niger Delta from September 10, 2017 as a preparation for the actualization of Niger Delta Republic.
We totally condemn the recent meeting between PANDEF and the Acting President; we see it as another plot to deceive the Niger Delta people. First and foremost, the meeting was marred with inordinate greed of the PANDEF as they did not involve the representatives of the Agitating groups and youths leaders. We wish to let the Acting President to know that those he met have no capacity and cannot solve the current crisis in the Niger Delta; therefore they cannot represent the militants or speak for the Niger Delta people.
The Coalition unanimously adopts to stand by the previous demands, which are: 100% percent control of our resources. The Federal Government should hand over all oil blocks owned by the Northerners/Yorubas to Niger Delta indigenes. All Oil companies operating in such oil blocks/wells should vacate October 1st, 2017.
Relocation of NNPC to any of the Niger Delta state and replacement of the Group Managing Director with an indigene of region. All the Multinational Oil, Gas, Servicing and Marine Companies must relocate their operational base to the Niger Delta, sign a new Memorandum of Understanding with Niger Delta people which would include Niger Delta indigenes being paid same salaries with foreigners.
We demand independence and sovereign Republic of Niger Delta, all the companies and business owned by the Northerners / Yorubas in Niger Delta should be vacated before 1st October 2017, we accept and congratulate the Yorubas for demanding Oduduwa Republic and we wish them success.
We hereby call on all agitating groups to resume attacks/bombings on all oil/gas pipelines, especially the exporting lines across the Niger Delta region from September 10, 2017. This is to ensure zero oil/gas production before October 1, 2017.
We shall work to interface with more patriotic and zealous Niger Delta people to work out new collective approach that will ensure total freedom and complete control of our resources by any means necessary.
We shall from henceforth, fight to liberate ourselves from the shackles of neo-colonialism and rule ourselves under a Niger Delta Republic, with diplomatic and economic relations with the peoples of the South East and Middle Belt.
Finally, we want to inform the federal government of Nigeria and the general public that we no longer recognize PANDEF under the present leadership as they are working against the interest of the Niger Delta people.