MILITANTS in the Niger Delta have been torn apart over the last Thursday quit notice by the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators, CNDA, asking Northerners and Yoruba to leave the oil region before October 1 ahead of fresh attacks on oil installations.
The controversial statement signed by NDA convener, John Duku, Ekpo Ekpo of Niger Delta Volunteers, Osarolor Nedam of Niger Delta Warriors, Henry Okon Etete- Niger Delta Peoples Fighters, Asuquo Henshaw- Bakassi Freedom Fighters. Ibinabo Horsfall, Niger Delta Movement for Justice and others militant leaders, also asked Northern and Yoruba owners of oil blocks in the region to vacate them by October 1.
But another group of militants, Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders, NDRC, on Sunday, sharply disagreed with the CNDA, saying: “The call for the Yoruba and the Northerners to leave the Niger Delta is not the solution to the genuine demands of the Niger Delta people.”
Spokesperson of the group, W O I Izon Ebi in an electronic mail to Vanguard, Sunday, declared: “The NDRC and the 21st century youths of the Niger Delta call on our royal fathers and distinguished personalities of the PANDEF to swing into action to call an emergency meeting to address this current call for the Yoruba and the Northerners to vacate the Niger Delta before October 1.”
Meanwhile, the group also demanded a time frame for the implementation of the promises, including relocation of operational headquarters to the region, building of oil refineries, take-off Nigerian Maritime University, NMU, Okerenkoko and other palliatives made to PANDEF by the Acting President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, August 4, in Abuja.
NDRC spokesman stated: “This call is borne out of the PANDEF’s inability to call for a meeting to address the agitators and the Niger Delta people after the emergency meeting with the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osibanjo.”
“We also use this medium to tell PANDEF to rise up and condemn the threat of a so- called coalition of militants, telling people that are not of their tribe to leave the region. The NDRC and the 21st century youths of the Niger Delta believe in our children, mothers and the unborn generation, our people’s welfare and wellbeing come first.
“PANDEF and the various federal agencies that are saddled with the responsibility of developing the Niger Delta, for example the NDDC, Niger Delta Development Basin Authority and the Niger Delta Ministry are not doing enough. We, therefore, plead with our brothers to give peace a chance for sincere dialogue since the Acting President has demonstrated the courage and willingness to lead with his conscience,” the group said.
It added: “We plead to all Niger Deltans that there is time for everything and this is the time for a sincere approach. We are all in the same course for a better, peaceful and prosperous Niger Delta for our children and the generation unborn.
After war and destruction, we are still going to dialogue, so why the war now that the federal government under the watch of Prof. Yemi Osibanjo is trying to do things in accordance with the best global practice.”
The group further stated: “The NDRC assures every Nigerian, irrespective of their tribe or religion, of their safety in the Niger Delta. The development of the Niger Delta is hinged on peace. If there is no peace, there can be no development, but the NDRC and the 21st century youths do not want peace of the graveyard.”