Niger Delta militants insist on October 1 independence declaration

  • Give IOCs quit notice

Niger Delta militants under the aegis of the Niger Delta Volunteers (NDV) have stated that arrangements have reached an advance stage with other agitators to declare a Sovereign Republic of Niger Delta (SRND) on October 1, 2017.

The group has also called on International Oil Companies (IOCs) to relocate to the region before the set date, failure, which would attract resumption of hostilities against oil and gas infrastructure in the region.

These threats were contained in a statement signed by the leader of the group, General Ekpo Ekpo, and made available to reporters.

The self-acclaimed leader of the group, criticized the action of some Niger Delta leaders who recently met with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo under the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).

According to him, “We totally condemn the recent meeting of PANDEF with the Acting President and wish to state clearly that the delegates from Akwa Ibom State to that meeting did so on their own because they did not consult with relevant groups and therefore cannot claim to speak for everybody in the region.”

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Recall that another group, the Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders, NDRC, had earlier expressed disappointment with the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, led by Chief Edwin Clark, vowing to commence fresh attacks on oil facilities across the Niger Delta on September 31.

The group said PANDEF had failed the agitators in the negotiation with the Federal Government to achieve acceptable level of social and economic prosperity for the region. It therefore charged PANDEF to, henceforth, stop all engagements with the Federal Government.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government says it has commenced efforts at gainfully engaging 50,000 youths from oil producing states for pipeline surveillance jobs in their communities.

Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta and Co-ordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Office, Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh, who stated this yesterday during a media interaction in Abuja, said nine governments of the oil producing states had forwarded an aggregate of 10,000 names to his office for the take-off of the initial stage of the programme.

He noted that the aim was to get the youths in those communities engaged to stem the tide of militancy, kidnapping and other vices in the region.