The National Reports Nine militant groups, under the aegis of the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA), have backed out of the ongoing peace talk with the Federal Government on the non-violent approach to issues of the continuous operations of oil and gas facilities.
The RNDA in an electronic statement on Tuesday by its Coordinator, ‘Major General’ John Mark Ezonbi, also warned foreign oil vessels to steer clear of the Niger Delta region or face dire consequences.
The peace talks between the RNDA and the Federal Government, which was initiated last year by the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, was allegedly threatened recently by the appointment of Mr. Effiong Akwa as the Sole administrator for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
An alleged non-recognition of the Niger Delta region in the policy statements made by President Muhammadu Buhari during the January 1, 2021 broadcast to the nation is also another reason for the withdrawal.
The RNDA threatened that as from January 7, 2021, its strike force units in the nine states of the region would start bombing and destroying oil facilities, oil pipelines, major oil ships and vessels coming from Lagos to the creeks of the Niger Delta.
The coalition said: “Major vessels and ships are advised to withdraw their services to Warri ESCRAVOS waters, to Bonny NLNG Port Harcourt waters from the Gulf of Guinea to Nigeria waterways henceforth.
“Therefore, any of the ships and the vessels that refuses to comply with our directive will meet with the firepower attacks from the strike force units of the RNDA.
“The operation is codenamed ‘Operation No Mercy Alfa Piper zero oil’ to save NDDC from the hands of politicians and some Presidential aides involved in the plot to hold the Niger Delta to ransom.”
The RNDA, however, commended the efforts of the Deputy Senate President, Chief Ovie Omo-Agege, for his efforts at rallying around all stakeholders such as traditional rulers, the leadership of host communities and the various agitating militant groups in the region for building a bridge of peace among all ethnic nationalities.
The coalition noted: “We commend those genuinely agitating for the practical development of the region and salute the neglected emancipated long-suffering and most oppressed citizens of Nigerian state who are from the oil-rich region of Niger Delta.
“Even though Buhari refused to acknowledge that the region has been sustaining the economy of this nation all these years and should be given proper attention in the scheme of things, the leadership of the RNDA has come to the conclusion that the region is unrecognised and underdeveloped.
“We the strike force unit commanders of the RNDA, who are genuinely agitating for the overall development of the region, will not take much from Mr. President because without the daily production of crude oil in the creeks of the Niger Delta, there will be no Nigeria.
“The RNDA makes bold to state that without the constant high volumes of crude oil production in the creeks today, the economy of this country will be in comatose. We want to state that the people of the oil-rich region whose crude oil is used to develop Abuja and the northern parts of the country will not fold their arms and accept such from the Federal Government any longer.
“And for issues bordering on the overall development of the region, it is noted that Buhari refused to address these issues including that of Niger Delta Development Commission. RNDA wants to say that Buhari does not mean well for the development of the region.
“The fact that Mr. President kept quiet and refused to take any action on the inauguration of a substantive NDDC board which had been screened and confirmed by Senate and himself before now, and for him to keep quiet and allow his aides around him to plot a coup against the people of the Niger Delta region will not be accepted.
“President Buhari should also not hold the RNDA responsible because a word is enough for the wise and we can no longer tolerate the perpetual injustice and the bunch of oppression melted by politicians and his aides in the Ask Villa against the people of the Niger Delta.”