PORT Harcourt/Nigeria: A coalition of Niger Delta agitators and the Movement for the Actualisation of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) has warned against the re-arrest of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) leader Nnamdi Kanu.
The Niger Deltans, in a statement made after their meeting in Abuja described the withdrawal of the quit notice to Igbo in the north as an attempt to hoodwink Nigerians from confronting pertinent issues that need to be addressed by the authorities.
Describing as laughable and ridiculous the call for the revocation of the bail conditions offered by the court to Kanu, they accused the Federal Government and the northern governors of conniving with the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) in the issuance of the quit notice.
They demanded that all oil blocks within the coastal area given to former leaders and other personalities should be returned to them. The group which threatened to resume attacks on oil installations from September 10 asked all onshore and offshore workers to leave the area.
The agitators reiterated their earlier stance that northerners and Yoruba people should quit the Niger Delta region before October 1, 2017. Those who signed the statement included General John Duku (Niger Delta Watchdogs and Convener, Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators); General Ekpo Ekpo (Niger Delta Volunteers); General Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors); Major-Gen. Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters); Major-Gen. Asukwo Henshaw (Bakassi Freedom Fighters); Major-Gen. Ibinabo Horsfall (Niger Delta Movement for Justice); Major-Gen. Duke Emmanson (Niger Delta Fighters Network); Major-Gen. Inibeghe Adams (Niger Delta Freedom Mandate) and Major-Gen. Ibinabo Tariah (Niger Delta Development Network).
The Niger Delta agitators further demanded what they described as “total overhaul of the basis of our unity.” They demanded the relocation of the oil and gas companies headquarters to their operational base as well as the relocation of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) headquarters and all other offices that have to do with oil and gas and the replacement of the Group Managing Director of NNPC.
“We reaffirm our resolve for the declaration of the Niger Delta Republic on 1st October 2017. “We reaffirm our resolve to resume attack on all the oil blocs and well owned by the northerners and Yoruba in the Niger Delta from September 10, 2017. We call on PENGASSAN, NUPENG and members of international community to withdraw their members/expatriates from such oil wells/blocks as we shall not spare any person found in such platforms, including NNPC offices in Abuja and Lagos, oil companies headquarters outside the Niger Delta region. We shall also go after investments, businesses and companies owned by northerners and Yoruba within our reach.”
The group said any attempt to arrest any of its members would be “resisted with everything/anything within our reach and we shall extend our anger to any security agents we come across.”
A statement by MASSOB’s leader, Uchenna Madu in Enugu said that proceeding with the matter said to have been brought before the Federal High Court by the Attorney
General of the Federation would give credence to a notion of bias against the Igbo.
The group which wondered why Kanu should be singled out for arrest when those who issued quit orders and promoted hate songs capable of causing genocide are walking freely, warned the government to resist attempts to drag the country into crisis. “Kanu’s activities towards Biafra actualisation and restoration have never breached, truncated or confronted the fragile and inconsistent constitution of Nigeria. There were some northern elements who openly defended those who issued quit notices and promoted hate songs, yet, government behaved as if there was nothing to it. Why would anybody think of re-arresting Kanu for taking a position in the scheme of things that have always been skewed against the Igbo? Kanu is a freedom fighter and the earlier the leadership of the country realizes this, the better for Nigeria,” MASSOB said.