Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Militants in the Niger Delta region have threatened to resume attacks if All Progressives Congress (APC) governor-elect, David Lyon’s mandate, is not restored.
The threat is coming in spite of repeated pleas for calm and caution against violence by the leadership of the party both at the state and national levels.
The coalition of militants, under the aegis of Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA), in a letter, said they had served notice to the Supreme Court and the Presidency over their preparation to resume hostilities on oil installations in the Niger Delta if Lyon’s stolen mandate is not restored.
RNDA, in the letter signed by leaders of the nine militant groups from the nine states of the Niger Delta, said though they have accepted ceasefire and have been engaging in peace advocacy in the region, the recent Supreme Court judgment nullifying the election of Lyon is unacceptable and provocative.
The leader of RNDA, Johnmark Ebi, said the decision to abort ceasefire and declare hostilities in the region was based on the outcome of investigations which showed that great injustice was done to Lyon and APC by the court in cahoots with the Peoples Democratic Party.
According to him, failure to restore the mandate freely given by the people of Bayelsa on November 16, “will result in unimaginable outcome” and RNDA “should not be held responsible for whatever damage that will lead to bombing of oil pipelines to cripple the economy of the country.”
Meanwhile, Governor Douye Diri has called on Bayelsans to shun politics of bitterness as well as the pull-him-down-syndrome.
Diri made the call when he received four die-hard supporters, including Igbeita Jonathan, Ogbise Funimikiye, Jennifer Ogidiga and Sergeant Ofoniama in Government House, Yenagoa after they trekked from Kaiama in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area of the state to Yenagoa to celebrate his emergence as governor.
A statement by the Head of Press, Government House, Yenagoa, Ebi Avi, noted that the governor was amazed and did not believe it when he was told about the four youths who had trekked from Kaiama to celebrate his emergence as governor.
“I actually lack words to express my joy on what I am hearing and seeing. When they told me, I said it is not true. For me history is being made and it also shows that our younger ones are taking after their elders. Thank you for this feat,” he said.
Diri, who disclosed that as a member of House of Representatives, he has been responsible for the education of one of the trekkers, whose father was killed in the Odi massacre of 1999. He said the four youths have shown they want to help build the new Bayelsa under his leadership.
On his party, member, representing Brass/Nembe Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives, Israel Sunny-Goli, has appealed for calm over the recent Supreme Court verdict which sacked Lyon as governor-elect.
Sunny-Goli, who said the judgment was surprising to APC leadership, however, expressed optimism that the temporary set-back would be overturned.
According to him, Lyon remains the choice of the majority of Bayelsans which was demonstrated in the victory at the November 16 governorship election and the court would eventually make the votes of the people count.