By Bankole Wright
A coalition of Niger Delta militants has asked the Federal Government to return all oil blocs controlled by Northerners to the people of the region.
The demand is in retaliation for the order issued by Northern youth organizations to the Igbo in the north to quit the region by October 1, The Nation reports.
The Niger Delta Watchdogs, Niger Delta Volunteers, Niger Delta Peoples Fighters, Niger Delta Warriors, Bakassi Freedom Fighters, Niger Delta Movement for Justice, Niger Delta Fighters Network and Niger Delta Freedom Mandate, said in a joint statement yesterday that they also intend to declare an independent Niger Delta on October 1 as they can no longer condone northern enslavement.
The communiqué was signed by ‘General’ John Duku (Niger Delta Watchdogs and Convener: Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators), ‘General’ Ekpo Ekpo (Niger Delta Volunteers), ‘General’ Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors), and ‘Major-Gen.’ Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters).
Others are ‘Major-Gen.’ Asukwo Henshaw (Bakassi Freedom Fighters), ‘Major-Gen.’ Ibinabo Horsfall (Niger Delta Movement for Justice), ‘Major-Gen.’ Duke Emmanson (Niger Delta Fighters Network), and ‘Major-Gen.’ Inibeghe Adams (Niger Delta Freedom Mandate).
They also warned all the companies operating such oil blocs to quit within three months.
The group said: “A coalition of the Niger Delta militants met today in Port Harcourt to review the recent call by the Arewa Youths groups that the Ndigbo should vacate all the Northern states within three months.
“We see the declaration by Arewa Youths as a declaration which the northern elders, leaders, political elite, security heads from the North and governors were fully aware of .
“We demand 100 per cent control of our resources. We demand that the Federal Government should hand over all oil blocs owned by northerners to Niger Delta indigenes. All the companies operating in such oil blocs/wells should vacate within three months.
“The Federal Government should immediately relocate NNPC and all the offices that have to do with oil/gas sector back to Niger Delta states and immediately replace the Group Managing Director with an indigene of Niger Delta.
“All northern indigenes working in NNPC and any other board that has anything to do with oil/gas should be sacked with immediate effect.
“We demand an independent and sovereign Republic of Niger Delta. We are tired of living with the North under Nigeria. We are tired of the President’s sentiments against the Niger Delta people.
“The President can have time to receive the Chibok girls but could not have time to meet with the representatives of the Niger Delta agitators. Our money has been used to fund Boko Haram, a problem created by the Northerners in order to use it as conduit pipe to siphon the resources of Niger Delta.
“On October 1, 2017 we shall declare our independence come rain, come shine. We shall take our destiny in our hands and free ourselves from the slavery of the North as they are tired of one Nigeria.”