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N/Delta: Militants Resume Hostilities, Demand Return Of Oil Blocks

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By Bernard Tolani Dada, Uyo

The Niger Delta Volunteers (NDV), Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, Niger Delta Strike Force comprising militants from Akwa Ibom and Cross River states, yesterday announced resumption of attack in all the oil and gas installations in Akwa Ibom and Cross River states.

The militants called their return to hostilities: “Operation Zero Oil Flow”. The groups are demanding the return of Akwa Ibom oil blocks owned by  Northerners and  Yorubas to the indigenes of the state.

In a  release signed by the   leader of the group, Commander Ekpo Ekpo and made available to newsmen in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital,  the militants officially announced readiness to resume “Operation Zero Oil Flow” in Akwa Ibom State. They warned that this time their operations would be more deadly, and would destroy any obstacle that would stand in “our way of success to liberate Akwa Ibom from the enslavement of the Nigerian government, today government of Nigeria and some selfish people in Niger Delta believe that Niger Delta exist only in Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and others without Akwa ibom State.”

The militants said that they have watched with dismay the inhuman treatment meted to Akwa Ibom State, “the leading oil producing state in Nigeria by the Nigerian government; it is on record that Akwa Ibom produces the highest crude oil on daily basis, being the most peaceful state in Niger Delta and always cooperates with federal government, the state has been turned to dumping ground by the central government of Nigeria, the government has no interest, no infrastructural development and being the most marginalized and neglected state in Niger Delta, we have been forced to carry arms as the only option and the language the government understands”.

They claimed that “The Akwa Ibom people has been denied inclusion into the Amnesty Programme in 2009 and less than 150 people out of the 30,000 beneficiaries of the Presidential Amnesty Programme are from Akwa Ibom State even when the former Governor, His Excellency, Godswill Akpabio sponsored and document 500 ex-militants from the state.”

 

The militants said previous government awarded pipeline surveillance contract to Bayelsa, Edo, Rivers and Delta militants without involving Akwa Ibom State. “Presently there are serious power play and executive plot aimed at denying us the pipeline surveillance contract that has already been secretly awarded to other Niger Delta states. Let it be known to the Nigerian government and the entire world that the worst, most deadly, most dangerous set of militants are from Akwa Ibom State, militants from other states come here to acquire the little powers they use, we are the owner and we are going to use it well now. The peaceful atmosphere enjoyed in Akwa Ibom State by the oil and gas multi-national companies would not be same from now”.

“We wish to use this medium to advice Exxon Mobil, Total E&P Nigeria Ltd, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, Amnesty International, Petroleum Development Company, Afren Resources Ltd, Oriental Energy Limited, Chevron, Adax Petroleum and many others including their subsidiaries and servicing companies to vacate Akwa Ibom territory with immediate effect for the safety of their staff and expatriates,” they added.



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