Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
The protest against the Supreme Court ruling which sacked the All Progressives Congress (APC) party’s David Lyon as governor-elect of Bayelsa State has assumed a new dimension, with militants in the Niger Delta region threatening to resume attacks if Lyon is not restored.
The latest 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 level.
The coalition of militants under the aegis of Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) in a letter said they have served notice to the Supreme Court and the Presidency over their preparation to resume hostilities on oil installations in the Niger Delta if Lyon is not restored to the governorship.
The RNDA, in the letter signed by leaders of the nine militant group from the nine states of the Niger Delta, stated that though they have accepted a ceasefire and have been engaging in peaceful advocacy in the region, the recent judgment of the Supreme Court nullifying the election of David Lyon is unacceptable.
The leader of RNDA, Johnmark Ezon Ebi (also known as Obama), said that the decision to abort the ceasefire and declare hostilities in the region is based on the outcome of their investigations which suggests that a great injustice was done to Lyon and the APC by the court and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP).
According to him, failure to restore the Lyon “will result in an unimaginable outcome” and RNDA “should not be held responsible for whatever damage that will lead to the bombing of oil pipelines to cripple the economy of the country”.
The letter read in part:
“David Lyon was declared the winner of the governorship election which was well accepted by all sons and daughters of Bayelsa state and rejected the candidate of peoples demonizing party in the person of Douye Diri. David Lyon remains the choice of the people. RNDA would not fold its arms and watch democracy rubbished in Nigeria. Douye Diri cannot be Governor and can never be because somebody who was not duly elected cannot be imposed on the people. And to this end, if nothing is done to reverse this orchestrated judgement to remove the unpopular governor that is illegally occupying David Lyon seat in the Creek Haven Government House, the RNDA will be left with no other option than to declare war in the creeks and continue from where we stopped. As such the RNDA should not be held responsible for whatever havoc and colossal damage that will occur in the creeks to cripple the economy of the country and will show example soon. We mean business.”