A coalition of nine militant groups under the aegis of Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) has faulted the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) for declaring President Muhammadu Buhari and minister of state for petroleum, Timipre Sylva, persona non grata in the region.
While declaring their statement as reckless and parochial, RNDA said instead of the unfounded statements, President Buhari and Chief Sylva should be commended for the passage and signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill into law.
The RNDA, which is a coalition of nine Militant groups who embraced the peace accord with the federal government, described the decision of the present administration to ensure the passage of the PIB and the signing into law as courageous, passionate and a show of love for the people of the Niger Delta region who have suffered for over six decades.
The coalition said; “Indeed, we the people are immensely grateful to the president to boldly and committedly actualise this long and protracted bill running over 16 years, and today it is passed and signed into law, and this is a new dawn in our history as a people in the Niger Delta region.
“Our hope is rekindled by this iconic benevolence demonstrated by President Muhammadu Buhari to take away the reproach of neglect borne out of sheer wickedness by our own leaders who were governors, National Assembly members, ministers of petroleum, ministers of Niger Delta Affairs, vice president, acting president, and even president.
“President Muhammadu Buhari is our hero and father. We will and our generations unborn will remain grateful to him for this historic and memorable signing of the Petroleum Industry Bill into law.
“We really appreciate his sincere love for our region as seen in his influence on the National Assembly to ensure the holistic and robust debate and also inclusion of all stakeholders in the process of passing the PIB into law.
“It is also gratifying to state at this juncture that President Buhari being a man with a human heart went on to rewrite the wrongs done to our region and to reposition it for a new beginning of development. This is what our own son and brother former president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, a son of the region, could not do.
“Jonathan, whom we had hope on as Commander-in-Chief for six years and Diezani Allison Madueke was minister of petroleum and daughter of the region could not pass the PIB into law despite that the PDP was in majority in the National Assembly, to alleviate suffering of the people.
“This is a beginning, and instead of fighting over this we should commend the President for his magnanimity, and other prominent leaders who have played a very critical roles to ensure passage and signing off the bill into law, these include the minister of state for petroleum and also the deputy president of the senate.
“It is imperative to state here that it is unbecoming of Chief EK Clark and his PANDEF for unnecessary and unguarded utterances on the pages of newspapers and television stations over the PIB and pressure mounted on President Buhari, why is it that Clarke and his group never came up with PANDEF to mount pressure on Jonathan to pass PIB into law, and where was Seriake Dickson who was in House of Reps and was later Governor of Bayelsa State for eight years and only Ijaw speaking governor to rally round to ensure the PIB was passed into law by Jonathan but only now is using disparaging comments on Chief Timipre Sylva?
“The RNDA which is agitating for the overall development of the Niger Delta region condemns in totality PANDEF’s position for attacking and criticizing Mr President for assenting to the PIB over the 3% per cent for the oil producing communities.
“We want to use this medium to warn trouble makers in the region trying to use this PIB 3% per cent issue to cause problem in the creeks to quickly retrace their steps now and withdraw from whatever useless and meaningless threat statements declared before now.”