Niger Delta militants on Wednesday alleged that the Federal Government was deliberately not making efforts to enter into round-table discussion with them since they announced a two-week ceasefire to halt further hostilities in the region.
The militants speaking under the umbrella of Ultimate Warriors of the Niger Delta (UNWD) said their patience was running out since government refused to discuss with them in a cease fire they said elapsed on Monday.
The Media Director of UNWD, Sibiri Taiowoh, in a press statement also pledged affiliation with the rampaging Niger Delta Avengers. The group threatened to embark on full-scale destruction of oil installations in the days ahead.
The group in the statement titled, ‘If you make the peaceful change that we seek impossible, we will make violent change possible’, said: “We are sounding this as a last warning before the whirlwind gets down. The tsunami that would descend in coming days would be severe for the current government to handle.
“We bet you this government wouldn’t be able to handle what would happen in the Niger Delta in the days ahead. When it gets down, they would say the opposition is behind it but we don’t care. All over the world, militia groups emerge for a reason and we have made our reasons clear and vivid.”
“Two week of ceasefire had gone without any tangible effort by the government. No roundtable dialogue has kick started, instead, government officials are quarrelling over critical issue of national important.
“Our patience is running out and we have decided to let the world know our grievances pure and plain again. The operations that would follow these plans are strategic and all operations would be codified as our goals have been codified in a one line mission statement.”
“Our mission is simple; give us our rightful due as producer of Nigeria oil wealth. We would not give you the peace you want to continue the exploitation of our people if we don’t see proactive government action on major federal government projects in the Niger Delta like the multibillion dollar Export Processing Zone (EPZ) project and the already approved Federal University of Maritime in Okenrenkoko, Delta state.
“For us, this is not about Jonathan, not about Tompolo and any other person they are pointing fingers to as master mind of this well planned attacks. This is about us-the indigent people. This is about our mothers and children you are being ripped off. And some have said why now; it is simple. There is time for everything; this is the time for change and we want the change in the Niger delta now!”, the statement further stated.
UNWD dissociates itself from some militant groups demanding that government unfroze some suspected corrupt politicians’ account or halting the prosecution of any person under investigation.
It boast thus, “We are of several units in the region and we have commanders, willing soldiers across the region who are waiting for the next line of action to strike. Our mission is to drive government attention to act fast because dialogue-upon- dialogue has failed us. We will ruin the Nigerian oil wealth until Nigeria is restructuring to reflect a true government of the people.
“The federal government cannot continue to give us crumbs. We own the oil, we own the wealth, we will no longer accept outsider’s controlling oil blocs that are in our land. We want 60 percent of it for our people because we own the resources that sustain the country.
“If the federal government cannot call itself to order by visiting the Niger Delta Master Plan or commence immediate implementation of the portion of the 2014 National Conference which created a new road map for the speedy development of the region, then Buhari should expect violent change for his first four years in office.
“We are giving the National Assembly ultimatum to act in this direction towards the Niger Delta region. We cannot have you and still be suffering annexation, deprivation and gross injustice in the hands of the Nigeria state. By the time we are through with total blowing up or shutting down of all oil installations in the core oil producing states of Rivers, Akwa-Ibom, Delta, Bayelsa, Cross-Rivers, Ondo, where willing men have been positioned, the members of the legislature who failed to act decisively when we needed them most in this crisis would be our next targets. The institutions will follow”, it said.
Senate puts screening of Ambassadorial Nominees on hold, summons Foreign Affairs Minister
The Senate on Wednesday has put on hold much expected confirmatin of the 47 ambassadorial nominees forwarded to it by President Muhammadu Buhari last week.
At the plenary, Senate President, Bukola Saraki revealed that his office has been inundated with petitions regarding those states that were not captured in the list submitted by Buhari to the Senate.
According to him, the situation has put him under pressure, while stressing that the solution was to ensure that those states that were not represented be given their own opportunity before screening begins.
He said, “Distinguished Colleagues, in the last two weeks, after the submission of the ambassadorial list, there have been petitions from various quarters bothering on why some states like Bayelsa, and Taraba were omitted.”
Senator Foster Ogola (PDP) Bayelsa West Senatorial District explained that the omission of Bayelsa slot from the list was damaging his reputation as it has been taken by his constituents to mean that he was not representing them well.
He urged the Senate that the proposed screening be stepped down until states like Bayelsa and others were reflected, wondering why Bayelsa State that generates 40% of the nation’s revenue should be treated in such manner.
“Mr. Senate President, Distinguished Colleagues, let the proposed screening be stepped down until the Foreign Affairs Ministry has captured Bayelsa and other states before we do anything. How can Bayelsa State that generates 40% of the nation’s oil revenue be left out?
In the same vein, Senator Emmanuel Bwacha also expressed disappointment that Taraba was completely left out, insisting that the right thing must be done before the screening commences. He also averred that there was no need for batch by batch screening.
Upholding the step down of the screening, Senate President in his remark after putting to prayers, also referred to the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs to report back in a week’s time.
The Senate also resolved that the Minister of foreign Affairs be summoned to explain how they arrived at the nomination of career diplomats that left out some states.