The efforts by the President Muhammadu Buhari-led government to bring lasting peace to the troubled Nigeria Delta region, hit the rock on Saturday, November 5, as Government Ekpemupolo, also known As Tompolo and Asari Dokubo, threatened war.
The Niger Delta Militants, clearly dissociated themselves from the meeting of elders from the oil-rich region with President Buhari, in Abuja, last Tuesday.
Apart from distancing themselves from the meeting, they warned the Federal Government, not to rejoice yet over the recent rise in oil production in the country, threatening that a series of attacks await oil facilities in the region in the days ahead. The militants also asked the Federal Government, to drop the charges against Tompolo, and other leaders from the region.
In a statement issued by its Spokesperson, Aldo Agbalaja, the militants accused the Buhari government of plotting to wage war against the people of the Niger Delta region.
“As a matter of fact, what the Avengers did to the oil industry, will be nothing compared to the grand plan already set by our central command.“We shall bring Nigeria’s daily output quota to below 500,000 barrels. Just be ready for the approaching tsunami.
“The multinational oil companies, we know you are recalcitrant, and will always come to test wills, we hope you will continue in this tradition, so there will always be reason to let the world know that you don’t contest the corners of a house with the owner of the house. “The destruction of the Trans-Forcados Pipeline, is just a warning.
We warned against the restarting of the facility, but the daring companies won’t listen. That shadow operation that brought the TFP down, was only meant to let these companies know that we aren’t kidding with them; when we say stay down, you stay down, and it’s in your best interest.”
The militants described last Tuesday’s meeting between Buhari and stakeholders, including traditional rulers from the region, as a humiliation of the people of the Niger Delta. “The humiliation that came with the meeting of the elders with President Muhammadu Buhari, did not come to the NDGJM, as a surprise. We expected it, because we know even the government knows the character and intent of the man, and most of those he led to the meeting.
“The only painful part, is the fact that the humiliation is stamped on the collective image of our people. However, we want to dare President Buhari and his administration, to attempt or fully carry out his military action against our people, and see the response that will follow. “We want to say here, without mincing words, that we are aware of his intentions.
We heard loud and clear his hostile message, we understand his message and the NDGJM is saying we are ready for him. We know he has reportedly threatened war on our people; we had been calm enough not to respond to the threats, but at this point, we believe it is time for us to come out to say to him ‘enough is enough.
“If it is war, bring it on, we are no cowards, just be sure you can sustain the consequences because this is not going to be another vanquished ‘Biafran Uprising’.
Niger Deltans are nobody’s slaves; we shall fight until there’s nothing left to defend.” Similarly, leaders of the Niger Delta Peoples Democratic Front, Ultimate Warriors of Niger Delta, and other major players in the Niger Delta Avengers, who spoke on Saturday, said they were not a party to the 16-point demand presented by their leaders of the region to Buhari.
The leader of the NDPDF, simply identified as General Playboy, faulted the stakeholders meeting with Buhari, describing it as a platform for them (leaders) to expose their selfish interests. He expressed surprise that the 16-point agenda submitted by the Niger Delta stakeholders to the Federal Government did not address the issues of Tompolo who was declared wanted by the Federal government.
The militant leader stated that a situation where ex-agitators like Mujaheed Asari-Dokubo, Boyloaf and Soboma Jackrich (Egberipapa) were not part of the stakeholders meeting, was an indication that government was not ready for peace.
“Any meeting geared towards peace without protecting Tompolo’s interest will fail. Tompolo himself cannot come out to negotiate his freedom. As far as we are concerned, Tompolo’s case needs a political resolution, just like that of Henry Okah and Charles Okah.