Joe Effiong, Uyo
Thirteen militant groups in the Niger Delta have threatened to rescind the ceasefire earlier signed with the Federal Government on the amnesty programme over what they termed massive corruption in the Niger Delta Development Commission.
Operating on the platform of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators (CNDA), the group cited the reason for issuing the threat to cancel the ceasefire agreement to the continued refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to accede to their demands to sack Niger Delta Affairs minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio as well as dissolve the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), which, according to them, reeks with “massive corruption.”
The CNDA also condemned the unwillingness of the president to address the issues of marginalisation of the Niger Delta in terms of appointments in the oil and gas sector, particularly the replacement of the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) with somebody from the region.
The CNDA stated these in a statement in Uyo, yesterday, signed by leaders of the 13 groups namely Gen. John Duku for Niger Delta Watchdogs; Ekpo Ekpo for Niger Delta Volunteers; Osarolor Nedam for Niger Delta Warriors and Major-Gen. Henry Okon Etete for Niger Delta People’s Fighters.
Others are Major-Gen. Asukwo Henshaw for Bakassi Freedom Fighters; Major-Gen. Ibinabo Horsfall for Niger Delta Movement for Justice, Major-Gen. Duke Emmanson for Niger Delta Fighters Network, Major-Gen. Inibeghe Adams for Niger Delta Freedom Mandate, among others.
It read: “The Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators has withdrawn its ceasefire and demanded for the immediate removal of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, as well as the replacement of the Group Managing Director of the NNPC with a qualified indigene of the Niger Delta region.
“The General Assembly of the Coalition also condemns the laissez-faire attitude of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari towards the continued sufferings and yearnings of the people of the Niger Delta.
“It is also paradoxical for a government that prides itself as one that gives zero-tolerance to corruption to keep mum over series of allegations of corrupt practices involving APC stalwarts in various MDAs including the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, NDDC and the Presidential Amnesty Office. What the Buhari government is doing to the region is bringing us back to the period 2005-2009 which witnessed the rise of militancy in the region and which also laid the foundation for the establishment of the Amnesty programme by the Yar’Adua administration to neutralise hostilities,” the group said.