A coalition of militant groups from the Niger Delta region, have made 11 demands from the Federal Government, warning that they will carry out the threat to attack oil pipelines if their demands were not met.
In the heat of the EndSARS protests across the country a few days ago, the coalition of militant groups in the Niger Delta had declared support for the protesters and threatened to end its ceasefire for a fresh round of attacks on oil facilities.
The groups from the nine states of the Niger Delta, which spoke through their leader Johnmark Ezonebi, under the umbrella of Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, (RNDA), in a new threat, noted that it would attack all major crude oil production pipelines in the region if their demands were neglected.
Among other demands, they want the Federal Government to release the N98 billion gas flare penalty fund to the host communities just as they demanded that the region be in total control of its crude oil and equally want the region’s riverine areas be connected to the cities with roads and bridges with provisions in the 2021 budget.
Ezonebi, said in a statement:“In support of the existing demandsbythe#End- SARS protesters, we have added new demands that could stop the mayhem on foreign oil multinationals, oil and gas infrastructure and the Joint Military Task Force involved in the Operation Crocodile Smile in the region.”
“We have vowed to take the destiny of our region into our hands and kick-start the occupation of all the major oil wells and the oil platforms, we will also bring down all major crude oil production pipelines to zero,” it added.
“First on the demands of the RNDA is: “Urgent release of the N98 billion gas flare penalty fund to the host communities of the Niger Delta, which are funds domiciled in the Federation Accounts through the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, by the International Oil Companies, IOCs, as payment to compensate the communities being affected in the creeks of the Niger Delta due to their environmental pollutions and environmental hazard caused the multinational oil companies.
“Secondly, we demand the total control of our God -given resources in the region. If some parts of northern states are allowed to operate and will be given license to engage in illegal mining and sale of gold, it means it is time the people of the Niger Delta region, especially the Ijaw ethnic nationality be given equal opportunity to go ahead with artisan and local refining of crude oil in the creeks without any form of intimidation and harassment fromtheNigeriangovernment as well.”
“…The proposed 2021 budget, which appropriated billions of naira to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, should be withdrawn and put on hold and the Minister of the Niger Delta Affairs should not be allowed to defend the proposed budget until the substantive board of the NDDC is inaugurated and sworn in by President Muhammadu Buhari