From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa, Ben Dunno and Emma Ogoigbe, Warri and Paul Osuyi
The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), yesterday, said the October 1 dealine for the declaration of the region as an independent state remains sacrosanct.
Reaffirming its commitment to the date in a press statement signed by its spokesman, Brig. Gen Mudoch Agbinibo, yesterday, the group expressed lack of confidence in the ability of President Muhammadu
Buhari to address some of the critical issues facing the nation, especially the restructuring of the country.
The NDA statement read: “The Buhari-led government has fail Nigerians with their misdirected policies that has divide the country, as such nobody wants to be part of that failed state not even the Niger Delta.”
“The October 1st, declaration of independence is still sacrosanct. If the Nigeria government fails to retrace its step by restructuring this country”, the group said.
It further urged the federal government to intensify its search for oil in commercial quantity in the northern region as that would be the only basis the north would agree to restructuring that would guaranty the freedom of the Niger-Delta region.
The statement read: “Our prayer for Buhari and the Northern hypocrites (Northern Governors) is for oil to be found in commercial quantity in the North, so they can let the Niger Delta go.”
Meanwhile, the group also warned individuals or groups parading themselves as their appointed agents “to defraud innocent members of the public, especially multi-national oil companies within the region”
to desist or be prepared to face the consequences.
The group said it has received reports on how some persons and groups have approached private individuals and corporate bodies for financial and material support on its behalf.
While dissociating itself from such dubious act, the group noted that it had started compiling such fraudulent cases and would come out with a clear cut decision to how to deal with those involved in such acts,
stressing that; “we want to inform the general public that the day of reckoning for those using NDA to defraud the people is close.”
Another group, Adaka Boro Avengers (ABA) had threatened to declare Niger Delta Republic at Kaiama, Kolokuma/ Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State on August 1, but shelved the plan after the Federal Government deployed troops to the community.
The group claimed that former President Goodluck Jonathan, foremost Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, King Diete-Spiff and other prominent Niger Deltans prevailed on them to drop the idea.
Meanwhile, the General Officer Commanding (GOC), 2nd Division of the Nigerian Army, Ibadan, Major-General Kasimu abdukalkarim, yesterday, told Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State that the army would soon embark on training exercise which is amphibious in nature in the state.
Abdulkarim, who was on tour of states under the 2nd Division of Nigerian Army, assured the governor that “we are here to provide adequate security and make the environment safe for all.”
Receiving the visitor, Okowa urged the military to carry out enlightenment campaigns before embarking on their activities to prepare the civilian populace.
He commended the military for informing the state about their intention to carry out some exercises in the creeks, saying that such enlightenment would ensure reduction in unnecessary tension as the people would know that the actions were not targeted at the civilian population.
“Heavy presence of military men always send shivers into the people and make them to be cocooned in their houses and it will make them not to go to farms, market or carry out socio-economic activities; but, when they are appropriately informed that your activities will not affect their normal lives, they will be receptive and go about their duties without fear.
“I am happy that the public is being informed about the operation you intend to carry out, the people will be calm and cooperate with you when they know that your actions will not be harmful to them,” he said.
While commending the military and other security agencies in the state for what they were doing to ensure a peaceful environment for socio-economic life of the people to thrive, Governor Okowa reiterated that his administration would always work towards favourable environment especially, for investments to thrive.
“Delta State is a very warm and friendly state and it is our hope that we will continue to work together to have that peaceful environment which will ensure development,” the governor said.