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Fresh 'Oil War' Looms In Niger Delta

Fresh 'Oil War' Looms In Niger Delta

By Akanimo Sampson

THERE are strong pointers that the Niger Delta, Nigeria's volatile oil and gas region, may cycle back to what it was befire the amnesty programme of government. This is likely to be so because the unrepentant militants in the region, have explained why they suspended renewed attacks on oil and gas facilities in the area.

Spokesman for the Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC), a coalition of insurgent groups including the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Bakabio Walter, told AkanimoReports on Wednesday in an on-line statement, ''we suspended our armed campaign for the independence of the Niger Delta when we discovered that General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida and his co-travellers in the Northern Political Leaders Forum (NPLF) were attempting to fund hoodlums in our region to engage in terrorist activities aimed at painting a picture that the Niger Delta freedom fighters are against the Presidential ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan''.

According to the JRC spokesman, ''we saw that the activities of criminal groups funded by the NPLF to oppose the Nigerian President would taint our genuine struggle for the independence of Niger Delta. However, we do not have anything against the Presidential ambition of President Goodluck Jonathan who happens to be from our region that has been politically marginalized under the heavy burden of internal colonialism''.

''Nevertheless'', he went on, ''elections have come and gone. It is unfortunate that those who submitted themselves to the process refused to adhere to the layed down laws, rules and regulation enshrined in the Nigerian Electoral Act. Instead they resorted to violence in Northern Nigeria. The violence has led to the indescribable massacre of 10,000 innocent civillians of Southern Nigerian origin by miscreats and supporters of General Muhammadu Buhari and his Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) which lost in the April 16, 2011 Presidential Election.

''Also, thousands of homes, shops and places of religious worship of people from the south of Nigeria living in the north were burnt and bombed. It is sad that nothing concrete has been done to bring the masterminds and perpetrators of these dastardly acts to justice. We all know that the northern quartet of Mallam Adamu Ciroma, Alhaji Abubakar Atiku, General Aliyu Gusau and General Ibrahim Babangida promised that hell will let loose if ruling party (PDP) refused to zone the presidency of Nigeria to the north, thereby setting the tone for a return to a north/south political rivalry.

''As part of their plans to achieve that, they sponsored terrorist bomb attacks in different part of Nigeria, including an attempt on the life of President Goodluck Jonathan on October 1, 2010. Their attempt to intimidate him out of the Presidential Primaries of PDP failed and he won''.

Continuing, the insurgents network said, ''the northern quartet rallied round and joined forces with General Muhammadu Buhari and his northern-based CPC in a bid to promote their Northern Regional bias. General Muhammadu Buhari tried to absolve himself of the massacre and mayhem in the north, but there are evidence to proove that he and the northern quartet were the mastermind. Before the beginning of the electoral process he said severally that Nigeria would become another Somalia.

''He also promised an uprising if the PDP prevents him from winning. The biggest of them all was when he alleged that the ruling party flew millions of ballot papers to several parts of the country in the previous night before the election day. In that reckless remark, he rejected the possible outcome of the election and vowed that he would never challenge the result of election in court neither will he contest in any election after 2011. With this comment, he set the tone for the sporadic violence and massacre of the lives of 10,000 innocent civillians of southern extraction in the north.

''It is sad that when statesmen were patriotically calling for the arrest and trial of General Muhammadu Buhari, he and his supporters dared the Nigerian government to arrest him and see the consequence. This act of arrogance and impunity should not be encouraged. Post election violence in Kenya that took this form of tribal violence and massacre led to the investigation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and today, people are being tried for 'crimes against humanity'. Unless this is done in Nigeria, this matter will not be put to rest. This has been a recurring decimal in our checkered political history and the Nigerian Civil War was a fallout of the first ethnic cleansing in Nigeria in 1966 orchestrated by elements from the same Northern Nigeria who believe that they were born to rule. They are not even considering the repercussion that would befall Nigeria if we choose to react violently.

''It is on the basis of this, that we make a minimum demand of the arrest and trial of Generals Muhammadu Buhari, Ibrahim Babangida and Aliyu Gusau. This should also include, Mallam Adamu Ciroma and Alhaji Abubakar Atiku. Failing which, we shall mobilize our people to visit vengance and anger on all Hausa and Fulani people we can find inside and outside our region. We deliberately waited for the end of elections to make this well-thought-out declaration as we did not want to be dragged into the murky water of Nigeria politics''.

ENDS

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