WARNING: Militants, kidnappers now disguise as security guards – Lagos Police

The Lagos state police command has alerted residents of the new strategy deployed by militants and kidnappers.

According to Fatai Owoseni, commissioner of police in Lagos, kidnappers and militants have infiltrated private security companies, and use their jobs as security guards to spy on potential victims.

He advised estate managers and private guards to stop denying policemen and security agencies access to residential areas.

“Criminal elements and suspected militants/kidnappers have found themselves enlisted into services of private security companies where they choose the estates they want to go and work,” Owoseni said.

“It gives them platform to do monitoring and then give information to their cohorts outside. The command wants to advice Lagos residents on the need to profile domestic servants and drivers they employ.

“By doing that, they would be helping to secure themselves, protect valuables and assist the police in its quest to reduce crime to minimal level in Lagos.”

He said the police recently smashed a syndicate comprising of drivers who steal from their employers.

The police commissioner said four members of the syndicate have been arrested and they confessed that they have stolen five cars in that manner.

“They do so in connivance with guards in some of the houses they work as drivers. We got four members of the gang after a Hyundai jeep which was stolen from the owner’s home, was intercepted at Ondo state, en route Abuja,” he said.

“Through diligent investigation, kingpin James Jacob was arrested. During interrogation, three others were arrested. On a serial basis, they give out themselves as drivers. After working for the family for sometime, they steal the car or connive with guards.

“They have confessed that there are five other cars stolen in that manner. James Jacob has been paraded last year for a case of rape and stealing of vehicle. He raped his boss’ house help and stole the car. He was charged to court but unfortunately, he got bail and refused to learn his lessons.”

He said the gang also had government plate numbers which they use in selling stolen vehicles.

 

Source: The Cable

Niger Delta Ex-Militants Endorse Ongoing Reforms At NDDC

The Niger Delta Ex-Agitator Forum (NDEF) has expressed support for ongoing reforms aimed at re-positioning the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) by the present management.

The NDEF in a statement issued on Monday in Yenagoa by its President, Prince Amaibi Hornby, applauded the Senator Victor Ndoma-Egba-led new board of NDDC for initiating a 21-point focus of direction at NDDC.

The group noted that the recent redeployment of 11 directors and ongoing internal investigations of corruption allegations in NDDC were signs of a committed leadership.

“We believe that these are moves that will eventually refocus the commission to its original mandate.

“The reform will make NDDC the vehicle to bring development and peace to the troubled Niger Delta and restore the confidence of the entire nation in the commission especially at this challenging time.

“This will also entrench transparency and enable the commission get necessary and important support from stakeholders,” NDEF stated.

The group further stated that NDDC’s partnership with the Bureau for Public Service Reforms, Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative and Open Government Partnership, would better establish transparency in the commission.

NDEF on the other hand, condemned the recent reports that the NDDC was purchasing cars at the expense of developing the Niger Delta oil communities when investigations showed that NDDC was yet to even get approval to acquire operational vehicles.

The group dismissed the report as attempts to blackmail and arm-twists the management of the commission.

“The ugly situations in the past where people used blackmail and force of coercion to get what they want in the NDDC should stop as it was a major contributory factor to the woeful performances of the commission in the past.

“The Senator Victor Ndoma Egba-led management board should be supported by all and sundry to reform the commission and achieve concrete results for the good of all.

“The present management board is made up of credible people from the Niger Delta, who have served the public in the past with proven integrity and in various capacities with unquestionable reputations.

“Resorting to forces of blackmailing and coercion will never help us – Information should be thoroughly investigated before allegations are made.

“Let us all support this new management of the NDDC to chart a new course for the commission and not to blackmail them,” NDEF said.

 

Source: Channels TV

Militants seek probe into N11 Trillion derivation funds for Niger Delta

A Militant group, Reformed Egbesu Fraternity (REF), has urged the Federal Government to investigate the over N11 trillion 13 per cent derivation funds accruable to the six states of the Niger Delta since the commencement of the payment in 1999.

Rising from its meeting yesterday in Yenagoa, the group enjoined the Federal Government to halt the payment through governors of the region.In a letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, the agitators maintained that the channelling of the funds, meant for the development of oil-producing states, through politicians had only ended up in enriching a few pockets while the majority of the people remained impoverished.

The agitation is coming on the heels of the under-development of the oil-rich region amid the allocations it gets. There has been the argument that even without additional support from the Federal Government over the years, the lot of the Niger Delta could have been bettered if the state governments were focused and deployed judiciously the much they got in close to the two decades since the return of democracy.

The All Progressive Congress (APC) in the Bayelsa State, however cautioned against such probe, saying that not all governors in the region squandered the funds made available to them. Publicity Secretary of the APC, Panebi Jones, citied political instability, militancy, pipeline vandalism and other oil and gas-related crisis in the region as the stumbling blocks to the effective use of the funds.

Efforts to reach senior officials of the Edo State government were not successful. But a source at the Ministry of Finance who spoke on the condition of anonymity said: “Every year, the Edo State government publishes its annual financial report on the basis of what comes from the Federal Government allocations, internally generated revenue and other sources of revenue for the state and these have been conditions of transparency required by international financial institutions and this is why the state has been getting support from institutions like ?the World Bank. So, Edo State has been transparent with its finances under the APC government.”

In the petition signed by its ‘General Officer Commanding’, Ebi Alagbakouriwei, REF argued that routing the funds through the governors contravened Section 162 (2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended) and item 39 on the Exclusive List.

He said: “We, therefore demand that the Federal Government stops the allocation of 13 per cent derivation to the state governors of oil and gas-producing states and pay the derivation component to the communities through appropriate structures.”

The group claimed that attempts by the communities to seek redress through the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and a lawsuit had been frustrated.

REF contended that till date, over N277 billion of the N11 trillion remained unaccounted for, alleging that the anti-graft agency had refused to take necessary action.

“The host oil and gas- producing communities reported to the EFCC that N277 billion remains unaccounted for till today. The EFCC bluntly refused to take action.

“ They took the matter to the law court in Delta State for the past three years. The case has never been heard till now.“ But it has been transferred from one judicial division to another, including Owa Oyibu, Asaba, Udu and back to Warri. The case has been perpetually adjourned at every sitting over the last three years”, the group further alleged.

It warned that defying its calls could aggravate the fragile peace in the region.It added: “ We wish to warn that the continuous indifference to this demand and appeal is an invitation to chaos and violence. In as much as we do not subscribe to violence in the resolution of our demands, we condemn the Niger Delta governors for the diversion of the fund for the last 15 years.

“The Federal Government should partner host communities and not state governors. In this connection, we commend Prof. Yemi Osinbajo and the Minister of Petroleum for their commitment to the peace process and development of the region.

“ Consequently, we demand two modular refineries in each of the nine states producing oil and gas and the immediate cessation of the allocation of derivation fund to the governors.”

 

Source: The Guardian

Niger Delta Militants threaten South African firms over xenophobic attacks

Militant groups in the Niger Delta have asked the 18 South African companies and personnel to leave the region or risk attacks.

The militants warned of imminent attack on all South Africans business interests and added they could no longer sit and watch innocent Nigerians being slaughtered in the southern Africa nation.

The threat was contained in a joint petition to the South African High Commission in Nigeria and signed by General John Duku of the Niger Delta Watchdogs, General Ekpo Ekpo of Niger Delta Volunteers and General Hart Bradford of the Niger Delta Strike Force.

The petition, a copy of which was sent to The Guardian said in part: “Our attention has been drawn to the series of unprovoked attack, looting, shutting down of business offices, killing and maiming of Nigerian nationals living in South Africa.”

The militants maintained that the South African government and her citizens have a number of businesses in Nigeria, going about their normal businesses peacefully, making huge profits and living in a very friendly environment with Nigerians.

According to the militants, “It is so regrettable that a country and nationals that had enjoyed the greatest affection of Nigerians was now repaying such hospitality with mindless killing and brutality.

To this end, the militants urged the Nigerian government to shut all the business premises owned by South Africans such as MTN, Multi-choice, Shoprite, Eskom Nigeria, South African Breweries (SAB Miller) and others. “Failure to do this within one month, we shall commence attack on the firms.”

Meanwhile, former president Olusegun Obasanjo has condemned the attack on Nigerians in South Africa, accusing the host government of “insincerity.”

He spoke yesterday in Abeokuta, Ogun State, while receiving leaders and members of the Nigeria Institute of Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos, at the Olusegun Obasanjo Presidential Library (OOPL), led by its chairman, Major General Laurence Onoja (rtd).

To Obasanjo, the negative developments in South Africa “have betrayed Nigeria, which played a huge role in rescuing the country from apartheid. I blame the youths of the country for the attacks but I will apportion more blame to the leaders of that country that allowed the attacks against fellow Africans for whatever reason.”

To explore diplomatic solutions, the Senate yesterday announced the names of delegation that will travel to South Africa to meet its parliament.

The delegation is led by Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, Senator Shehu Sani and others.

 

Source: Guardian

“Stop attacking oil pipelines”, NNPC boss begs Niger Delta militants.

The Group Managing Director, GMD, of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, M.K. Baru, on Thursday appealed to the Niger Delta militants to stop attacks on oil installations.

Delivering a Keynote Address at the SPE Annual Oloibiri Lecture Series in Abuja, Baru said the cessation of militants’ attack will enable the corporation to grow the gas industry for the “benefit of Nigerians.”

Baru noted that vandalisation of oil installations in the Niger Delta region was the most disruptive challenge to supplies across the country.

According to Baru, “The need to encourage gas production to meet increasing national demand is paramount.

“FG’s Gas Master-Plan Policy was intended to address the gas supply situation in the country. The Policy details out major infrastructure expansion, gas supply development acceleration and revamp of gas commercial framework.

“We are addressing the nation’s gas supply challenges through the launching of the 12 Business Focus Areas.

“One of the key components of the #12BUFA is Gas Development whose strategic plan is to increase domestic gas supply by 2020.

“Under the Gas Development Plan, we intend to grow gas supply to support the power sector and stimulate gas-based industrialisation.

“We also intend to selectively expand our export footprint in high value and strategic foreign markets.

“Gas pipeline vandalism has been the most disruptive challenge to supply across the country.

“We appeal to the militants to stop the attack on pipeline infrastructure to enable us grow the gas industry for the benefit of Nigerians.”

 

Source: Daily Post

Militants give Bayelsa Government 48-hour ultimatum over alleged assault on Briggs

An amalgam of militant groups known as the Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC) has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson to apologise to Ijaw woman activist, Annkio Briggs or face their anger.

The JRC said it held Dickson responsible for the alleged assault on her and others during a recent peaceful protest in Bayelsa.

Briggs was assaulted by hoodlums in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital a week ago to protest the allocation of 1, 200 hectares of land to Fulani herdsmen for cattle grazing.

According to the spokesperson of the JRC, Cynthia Whyte yesterday, if Governor Dickson failed to apologise “key agitating groups in the state would be activated to undermine the Dickson government.”

She said: “Within that 48-hour space, key agitating groups will first renounce amnesty and then commence series of activities to drive home our point and position. It is unfortunate that the same government which many Ijaws struggled and clamoured to win the 2016 elections would now turn out to be a government of tyranny, incompetence and ineptitude,” JRC said.

Whyte said: “It is unfortunate that today, the same bandit elements, armed robbers and unrepentant hardened criminals, who worked against Governor Dickson’s second term are the same band of renegades that would be hired to mug, mob and attack Annkio Briggs and her fellow protesters.

“This represents the fullness of treachery and tyranny. We will not allow this to happen in Bayelsa State, the cradle of Ijaw nation,” the JRC statement alleged.

Two Suspected Militants Shot In Bayelsa State.

Two suspected militants have been killed in the creeks of Bayelsa State by the Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Delta Safe (ODS).

They were reportedly shot dead when the troops raided and destroyed their camp at Obama Flow Station in Nembe Local Government Area of the state.

A statement by a spokesman for the operation, Lieutenant Colonel Olaolu Daudu, said “troops of Sector Two carried out the raid following a tip-off by locals”.

Daudu identified one of the suspects as a notorious criminal popularly known as Labista.

“Labista, who was on the wanted list of security agencies, was said to be behind some high profile kidnapping, killing of security personnel in ambush, piracy, armed robbery and other criminal activities,” the statement read.

Daudu further said: “Labista and his cohort dived into the river in a bid to escape while the raid was ongoing and were engaged by troops. At the end of the operation the bodies of two notorious criminals were found floating on water.

“They were recovered and deposited at government mortuary.

“Items recovered are two single barrel guns, cutlass and four speed boats”.

He also quoted the Commander, ODS, Rear Admiral Apochi Suleiman, as assuring the people of the region of their safety and security.

Suleiman also encouraged the people not to condone any form of sabotage, vandalism or acts of criminality because of their negative effects on the environment and economy.

Militancy resurfaced in Niger Delta region of Nigeria in the second quarter of 2015, with the militants pushing for the emancipation of the region, attacking oil installations in the region.

Their activities last year forced Nigeria’s crude oil output down to less than a million barrels per day, according to Nigeria’s minister of information.

A day after VP Osinbajo’s visit, militants ‘blow up’ pipeline in Delta.

A militant group has blown up a crude oil trunkline in Ughelli, Delta state, a day after Yemi Osinbajo, vice-president, paid a visit to the Niger Delta region.

 

Punch reports that the attack was carried out by an “unidentified militant group”.

 

No militant group has claimed responsibility for this latest attack on an oil installation.

 

Osinbajo had on Monday led a federal government delegation to the region to kick-start the process of peace and stability.

 

During the trip, the vice president had met with traditional rulers and key stakeholders.

 

Speaking in Gbaramatu kingdom, Delta state, Osinbajo put out a clarion call, urging members of the region to embrace peace and “prepare for the future”.

 

“Our future is the future of progress and development. Unfortunately, there is no time because the future is already here.

 

“I have come with a message for the people of Gbaramatu Kingdom and the people of the Niger Delta as whole. It is a short message and I quote ‘we must prepare for the future’,” Osinbajo had said.

We will hit Buhari hard this year – Niger Delta Avengers threaten.

The militant group, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) has threatened to hit President Buhari very hard in 2017.

This is coming barely 24 hours after they summoned their fighters back to the creeks to ‘prepare for war’.

You will recall that the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) also withdrew its support for Buhari, calling him a crafty man.

According to Daily Post, the group’s spokesman, Mudoch Agbiniho said “As we get prepared for the challenges ahead 2017, We make bold to tell the people of our Niger Delta, sane minds in Nigeria and the comity of nations that the remaining 11 months and couple of weeks in 2017 will be filled with surprises and a reconfiguration of the struggle for the liberation of our motherland.

“Since, the declaration of cessation of hostilities in the region by all fighters and affiliates, it has been evidently clear that the Nigerian state is not ready for any form of dialogue and negotiation with our people to addressing the issues sustaining the unending sufferings and deprivation of the people of the Niger Delta.

“The world is aware that, after listening to calls from our Royal Fathers, Community Leaders, Stakeholders and members of the comity of nations especially the governments of the United States of America, Great Britain and the European Union, we halted all actions.

“The world knows that PANDEF, as team of critical stakeholders, was mandated to engender a genuine dialogue and negotiations process that will be made up of apolitical Niger Deltans to engage with the government and people of Nigeria, representatives of the International Oil Corporations and neutral observers.

“But this government decided to go around to politicizing the process to forestall any genuine dialogue and negotiations.

“It is our belief that the 2017 national budget is not based on the crude oil production output from the Niger Delta, but on the newly found oil deposits in the North and the new pipelines constructed from the Niger Republic.

“That is the way to discuss with the deaf, when he cannot understand your soft massage. We are determined to hit him very hard and deadly that even his eyes will shed blood, his ear will be more deafened and his heart shall quake when he sees, hear and feel the outcome of our next activities.”

Also, the leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Democratic Front (NDPDF), General Playboy told newsmen that the Niger Delta struggle will not stop even if the Federal Government pays the backlog of salaries owed ex-militants.

We’re Ready for Dialogue, Niger Delta Militants Reply Buhari

NIGER Delta militants on Tuesday expressed their readiness to engage the Federal Government in dialogue to ensure that peace reigned in the oil-rich region.

The militants said the decision to embrace dialogue was reached after a meeting held on Tuesday under the auspices of the Coalition of Niger Delta Groups.

The militants, who made their position known in a statement via an electronic mail to newsmen, said they had no personal grudge against President Muhammadu Buhari and were ready to work together with his administration to make Nigeria better.

President Buhari had on Sunday called on the militants to come forward for dialogue over the Niger Delta crisis.

The leader of the Niger Delta Watchdogs, General John Duku; General Ekpo Ekpo of the Niger Delta Volunteers, Commander Henry Okon Etete of the Niger Delta Peoples Fighters and Commander Asukwo Henshaw, the spokesperson for the Bakassi Freedom Fighters who signed the statement, agreed to embrace peace.

“We wish to assure Mr. President that the Niger Delta militants and the people are 100 per cent ready for dialogue. We have no personal grudge against him and his government and we promise to work together to make Nigeria better,” the agitators said.

The militants commended President Buhari for calling on the Niger Delta militants to negotiate with the Federal Government.

They, however, condemned the call by the Senate for the resignation of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Dr. Babachir Lawal, saying such a call was not in the interest of the country.

Explaining that they had uncovered a plot by some politicians to sponsor militants to protest for the removal of Lawal, the militants warned that they would resist any attempt to sack the SGF.

“We strongly condemn the recent call for the resignation of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation by the Senate. The call on Mr. President to remove the SGF is uncalled for, unpatriotic and not in the interest of the nation.

“The allegation levelled against Mr. Lawal is baseless, without facts and the handiwork of saboteurs, who are planning to bring down and destroy this government by all means, knowing very well that the SGF is the engine room of this government, hard working, 100 per cent loyal to the President and a threat to some self-centred politicians.

“It is on record that the SGF has resigned his position as the Managing Director of the company (his accusers talked about) as soon as he was appointed as the SGF.

“He neither presided over nor acted on behalf of the company anymore. However, a Senate committee refused to invite the SGF for public hearing because they know what they were up to and must deliver based on the directive from their paymasters,” the statement read.

The agitators stated that they were aware of plans to move millions of naira into the Niger Delta to mobilise some youths and militants to protest against the SGF, using some powerful governors in the oil-rich region.

Militants Attack East Congo As President Kabila’s Term Expires

Militiamen in eastern Congo attacked a prison on Monday, engaging in gun battle with security forces amid heightened tensions as President Joseph Kabila’s last term in office ends.

Report said no election was held to choose a successor to Mr. Kabila , whose mandate had expired and opponents said it was an attempt to cling to power in defiance of the constitution.

Fabrice Kakubuzi, a local activist in the eastern city of Butembo told journalists that “since early morning on Monday, there have been incursions by the Mai Mai militia.

“They wanted to liberate prisoners at the central prison.

“They want to take advantage of the day to liberate prisoners,’’ Mr. Kakubuzi said.

A police spokesman said the militiamen were trying to loot but had been pushed back by security forces.

A presidential election was postponed until April 2018 because of logistical and financial problems and some opposition leaders agreed that Mr. Kabila could remain in office until then.

The constitutional court has also ruled that Mr. Kabila, who had been the country’s president since his father was assassinated in 2001, can stay on.

Read More:

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Militants attack East Congo as President Kabila’s term expires.

Militiamen in eastern Congo attacked a prison on Monday, engaging in gun battle with security forces amid heightened tensions as President Joseph Kabila’s last term in office ends.

Report said no election was held to choose a successor to Mr. Kabila , whose mandate had expired and opponents said it was an attempt to cling to power in defiance of the constitution.

Fabrice Kakubuzi, a local activist in the eastern city of Butembo told journalists that “since early morning on Monday, there have been incursions by the Mai Mai militia.

“They wanted to liberate prisoners at the central prison.

“They want to take advantage of the day to liberate prisoners,’’ Mr. Kakubuzi said.

A police spokesman said the militiamen were trying to loot but had been pushed back by security forces.

A presidential election was postponed until April 2018 because of logistical and financial problems and some opposition leaders agreed that Mr. Kabila could remain in office until then.

The constitutional court has also ruled that Mr. Kabila, who had been the country’s president since his father was assassinated in 2001, can stay on.

However, Democratic Republic of Congo’s main opposition bloc rejected the deal as a ploy.

Recent talks mediated by the Catholic Church failed to reach a compromise.

The capital Kinshasa, an opposition stronghold of 12 million people, was quiet on Monday, with many residents staying at home and shops and businesses shuttered.

Military and police patrolled the streets with riot trucks.

The government has outlawed protests there, raising fears of repression and violence in a nation that has been plagued by war and instability for two decades since the fall of kleptocrat Mobutu Sese Seko.

Congo has not seen a peaceful transfer of power since independence in 1960.

The opposition said on Saturday that it would not call for protests, but that may not stop them happening.

“Kabila will be an illegal president,” said Diego Kas, 29, who is unemployed like much of Congo’s adult population, as he stripped a discarded fridge they were prepared to take to the streets to chase out Mr. Kabila.

“I don’t know how Kabila is going to stay on because we don’t like him anymore. We are not his tenants. Congo is our country,’’ Mr. Kas said.

More than fifty people were killed in anti-Kabila protests in September; mostly protesters shot by police, although some mobs also attacked police stations and lynched officers.

However many people died during demonstrations in January 2015.

Operation Delta Safe Arrests Suspected Militants Over Recent Attacks On Oil Facilities

The joint military force, Operation Delta Safe, deployed to the Niger Delta, says its troops have arrested two militants believed to be masterminds of recent attacks on oil infrastructure in the region.

Rear Admiral Suileman Apochi, Commander of Operation Delta Safe, paraded the suspects before reporters on Thursday in Yenagoa, capital of Bayelsa State.

According to Admiral Apochi, the suspected militants are popularly identified in the Niger Delta creeks as “General Eagle” and “General VIP.”
He said that the arrest of the suspects, who had allegedly admitted to being the brains behind attacks at Agip’s oilfields in Bayelsa State, was as a result of the tenacity of operations launched against vandals by the joint force.

He noted that the activities of the two arrested militant suspects was responsible for the slump in oil output following several attacks and threats to oil firms.

“I am glad to announce that two notorious kingpins identified as General Eagle and General VIP have been apprehended. From interrogation, they have admitted to committing several crimes,” said the commander.

He added: “The criminals and their group have at various times masterminded the destruction of oil infrastructure and sabotage to the economy.

“They have engaged in illegal bunkering and kidnap of high profile victims.

“The self-acclaimed General Eagle said he recently organized and blew up one of the oil company’s risers at Golubokin along Obama-Brass pipeline in Bayelsa. He also claimed responsibility in the planting of explosives at Agip’s oilfields.”  Suileman said.

The commander said that preliminary investigations had uncovered text message threats to oil firms and their staff, adding that the suspected militants declared their intention to carry out more attacks if their demands for financial gratifications were not met.

He said that troops acting on actionable intelligence raided the militants’ hideouts in Yenagoa and arrested three other suspects currently being interrogated.

He said that one of the suspects in the custody of the joint task force claimed during interrogation to be a pirate and “pipeline bleeding expert” responsible for the destruction of several oil facilities.

Admiral Apochi urged aggrieved groups to take advantage of the federal government’s window of opportunities to amicably resolve grievances rather than resorting to criminal acts.

He assured that the military would not relent until the region was sanitized of criminals. He solicited the support of the public through the provision of timely and credible information required to identify and flush out criminals.

He also assured that steps were being taken to ensure a crime-free Christian season as patrols have been intensified on the East-West road as well as the waterways in the Niger Delta region.

Nigeria lost over N1.5Tr to attacks by Niger Delta militants, oil vandals in 2016 – NPDC

The Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, lost N1.5 trillion due to attacks on its facilities in 2016, an official has said.

Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, stated this on Wednesday.

In a statement ?signed by Ndu Ughamadu, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Baru said that the exploration and production subsidiary of the corporation lost the amount due to attacks on its facilities from January till date.

Mr. Baru disclosed this when he declared open the 2016 NNPC Security Awareness week with the theme:? “NNPC Security: A Task for All Stakeholders”.

He ?lamented the rising spate of criminality in the society at large and in the oil and gas industry in particular leading to loss of much needed revenue.

”At industry level, we are all conversant with the seriousness and frequency with which national assets in form of pipelines, flow stations are vandalised and crude oil and white products stolen with impunity.?

”In 2016, January to date for example, NPDC alone recorded 59 security incidents resulting in crude production shut down/deferment and revenue loss of over N1.5 trillion,” he said.?

PREMIUM TIMES reported several such attacks, most carried out by the Niger Delta Avengers, an armed group in the oil producing region. The attacks reduced Nigeria’s oil production and export by about 50 per cent and also affect power generation as gas supply to power plants for cut.

Mr. Baru urged all Nigerians to do everything possible to help protect national assets, adding that governments at various levels were working to fight criminality.

He assured staff that security was a focal point off his administration and that success could only be achieved when all stakeholders imbibed the consciousness that security was a task for everyone.

”At corporate level, you are all aware that the first item on my 12 Focus Areas is security.

”This is in recognition of the imperative that without assurances of safety, NNPC, the oil and gas industry, and indeed the country cannot achieve appreciable growth to assure citizens of decent and productive lives,” he said.

Mr. Baru also launched the Corporation’s Kidnap for Ransom Policy to raise staff awareness on the need to avoid actions that predispose them to being kidnapped, especially at a time like this when kidnapping for ransom had become rampant.

He charged all staff to participate actively in the activities of the Security Awareness Week to imbibe ideas that could help them not only on personal security but also on the protection of national assets.

Nigeria Lost Over N1.5 trillion To Attacks By Niger Delta Militants, Oil Vandals In 2016

The Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, lost N1.5 trillion due to attacks on its facilities in 2016, an official has said.

Maikanti Baru, the Group Managing Director, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, stated this on Wednesday.

In a statement ?signed by Ndu Ughamadu, Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Baru said that the exploration and production subsidiary of the corporation lost the amount due to attacks on its facilities from January till date.

Mr. Baru disclosed this when he declared open the 2016 NNPC Security Awareness week with the theme:? “NNPC Security: A Task for All Stakeholders”.

He ?lamented the rising spate of criminality in the society at large and in the oil and gas industry in particular leading to loss of much needed revenue.

”At industry level, we are all conversant with the seriousness and frequency with which national assets in form of pipelines, flow stations are vandalised and crude oil and white products stolen with impunity.?

”In 2016, January to date for example, NPDC alone recorded 59 security incidents resulting in crude production shut down/deferment and revenue loss of over N1.5 trillion,” he said.

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Chief of Naval Staff flags off ‘Exercise Eagle Eye’ in Warri

The Chief of Naval Staff, CNS, Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, has just flagged off “Exercise Eagle Eye”, in Warri, Delta state.

Represented by Rear Admiral Adeniyi Oshinowo, Chief of Training & Operations on the occasion, the CNS said, “Exercise Eagle Eye will be conducted from the internal waters up to the limit of Nigeria’s Exclusive Economic Zone.”

Details later…

Nigeria Military Troops Kill Three Suspected Kidnappers In Bayelsa.

Troops from Operation Delta Safe, the Nigeria Military Task Force in the Niger Delta, killed three suspected kidnappers in a shootout with some suspected sea pirates and kidnappers in the waterways of Bayelsa and Rivers States.

 

The notorious gang, which had been terrorizing the waterways of both States, was intercepted by IRT operatives on Azikiwe Road in Port-Harcourt on their way to an operation.

 

One James Peters, from Southern Ijaw, was arrested, and he is currently telling security agencies about other members of the gang and the location of their weapons.

 

“The gang members, on sighting the IRT Teams, opened fire and engaged the operatives. Hence, three of the hoodlums were fatally wounded while one James Peter, a 30-year-old from Southern Ijaw, was arrested alive,” the statement continued.

 

The troops recovered one General Purpose Machine Gun (GPMG) with bridge number 132/095 and a chain of bullets, as well as one AK47 rifle with bridge number 0231, and two AK47 magazine fully loaded.

Those Blowing Pipelines not Ordinary Nigerians – Buhari

Jolted by the sophistication and employment of high technical skills in their actions, President Muhammadu Buhari has feared that those blowing up pipelines were not ordinary Nigerians.


The President who was in doubt about the sophistry of the perpetrators felt that the militants were getting help from highly skilled engineering personnel who were inclined to using their skills negatively.

According to him, going into the sea for almost 70 kilometres to blow pipelines with ease were not ordinary.

The President spoke, Tuesday, after his investiture as the Grand Patron of the Nigerian Academy of Engineering (NAE), led by its President, Mrs. Joanna Maduka, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja. He said: “If I will go in the negative side, ?how can an ordinary Nigerian go into the sea, 70 kilometres or more, go down two meters and blow up oil installations that cannot be an ordinary Nigerian.

“So, I hope you will appeal to your colleagues to make sure that what we have built, they should regard it whether they are working with multi-nationals or the government.”

President Buhari however stated that his administration would utilize talents and skills of local engineers to rebuild ailing infrastructure across the country, describing the engineers as “competent and cost effective.’’

The President noted that local engineers contributed more than 90 percent to the design and realization of two refineries, 2,500 km of pipelines and 20 depots in the country during his tenure as Minister of Petroleum in the mid-1970s, adding that the success of the Petroleum Trust Fund was largely hinged on their skills.

President Buhari said individual political leaders should be blamed for Nigeria’s ailing infrastructure, not the engineers who had always been willing to contribute to national development. “By insisting that we must be cost effective in building infrastructure, we will utilize Nigerian engineers.

I respect them a lot, and I know it takes time to be trained as an engineer. “Somehow, every time and anywhere I have served in this country, we found it cost effective to use Nigerian engineers, and we relied on their capacity to understudy, learn and deliver. “It will be wrong to fault Nigerian engineers for the failure of refineries. You should blame the political leadership. How can you build and not know how to maintain an asset.

“I think that if Nigerian Engineers are denied their roles, it is not the fault of the profession. It is the fault of some individual governments. Other governments have done their best and found Nigerian Engineers competent and cost effective. Nigerian Engineers are very quick in uptaking and performing in the filed”, the President said.

Earlier in her remarks, the president of the NAE, Maduka noted that in the last one year, Nigerian engineering companies had made remarkable feats in the procurement and construction of a 600 megawatt power generating plant and a 330KV switching station, the biggest in the national grid.

He also solicited the assistance of government for the Academy to fully realize its objectives. “Countries like China, USA, Japan, South Korea and Malaysia are examples of nations that have harnesses the benefits of their engineering academies for economic progress.

Fellows of the Academy of Engineering are Engineers who have reached the peak of their careers and are invited to join. “This effort is very germane to the development of our nation. For this to be done effectively and efficiently, inputs are required from all cadres of engineering disciplines.

“The physical indices of development of any country are engineering based like roads, railways, water supply, power, housing and other infrastructure. However, Nigerian Engineers are underutilized for the tasks and challenges of nation building.

“For the country to attain sustainable growth status, the Nigerian engineers need to be adequately engaged in planning, policy formulation, consultancy and construction as well as industrial processes of production and manufacturing.

Furthermore, the fact is that Nigeria is grossly under-engineered as there are insufficient engineering professionals taking the population per capita basis.

“For example, in China, between 2000 and 2013, all the nine members of the Standing Committee (Ministers) of the Politburo were trained engineers. Currently, about half of the cabinet ministers in Singapore are engineers and in China, 70 per cent of the cabinet are engineers”.

Maduka commended the anti-corruption fight of the Federal Government, saying it would turn around the fortunes of the economy. She also hinted that Nigerian Academic Engineering was currently made up of 140 fellows.

Those who attended the brief ceremony were the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Engr. Babachir Lawal and the Minister of Science and Technology, Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu amongst other senior government functionaries and presidential aides.

We Shall Fight Till the Last Man Alive – Militant group

The Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, NDGJM, has vowed to continue its attack on pipeline installations until the “last man alive.”

This is coming barely 48 hours after an attack on the 42-inch delivery pipeline line operated by Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC and Niger Delta Western, in Otu-Jeremi, Delta State,  which the militant group claimed responsibility for.

In a statement signed by self-styled Gen. Aldo Agbalaja yesterday, the militant group warned the Federal Government to be wary of talks with some leaders of the Niger Delta region which are willing to enter negotiation with the government.

According to the group, “Be wary of these political jobbers, whose stock in trade has always been using the struggle to profiteer. We have severally indicated how to end this and definitely not through political jobbers and conflict merchants. If, and when we have reasons to trust anybody to hold discussions with, we shall, through this same medium, announce the process and the persons. This is a warning for the wise.”

NDGJM claimed its Akuma strike force attacked the NPDC pipeline at about 04.00 hours on Sunday, November 27, “to register our presence and jolt those probably slipping into delusion, back to reality.”

The statement reads, “In the last few weeks, we have been silent and observing. The period of silence was definitely not of inactivity. As a matter of fact, it was rather a strategy session, the fruits of which shall start showing up in the coming days.

“The Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate has also observed the calculated psychological attack recently initiated by the Nigerian security forces against our people, believing that by pursuing and arresting our people, the struggle will be defeated and our resolve would be quelled.

“This will not work because what motivates us is stronger than the Nigerian kind of patriotism. Once again, we proclaim that we shall fight till the last man alive.”

Gunmen kill four NSCDC officials in Port Harcourt.

Gunmen have killed four Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps guarding a facility operated by the Nigerian subsidary of Italian group Eni, local and security officials said Wednesday.

Four members of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, a paramilitary agency of the government, were killed on Monday at the installation at Omoku, near the oil hub of Port Harcourt, they said.

They were shot dead by gunmen in military camouflage, they said.

“The (security) operatives had engaged the gunmen in a fierce gun battle on realising that the intruders were not military men,” state NSCDC spokesman Michael Oguntuase told AFP.

A community leader in Omoku who did not want to be named, confirmed the incident.

“Dressed in camouflage, they came in a speed boat at about 6:40pm on Monday, exchanged gunfire with the operatives, leading to the death of four,” he said.

He said an unspecified number of NSCDC personnel were wounded.

Officials at Agip, the local subsidiary of Eni, were not immediately available for comment. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Since the start of the year, several militant groups, Including the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), have bombed pipelines and facilities operated by oil companies, including Shell, Chevron, Exxon, Eni and state-run NNPC in the restive oil-producing south.

The attacks have slashed Nigeria’s oil output, hammering government revenue at a time of global low prices.

Nigeria is currently struggling to come out of a recession since August.

The attacks on oil infrastructure have continued despite government’s peace moves.

Nigerian Navy hands over suspected militant’s drug supplier to DSS

Augustine Effiong, a suspected supplier of drugs and medical adviser to militants, has been handed over by the Nigerian Navy to the officials of the Department of State Services in Calabar.

Effiong, who is said to have dealings with militants running the creeks of Bakassi and Akpabuyo Local Government Areas of Cross River state, allegedly renders medical services to the militants.

Commodore Obed Ngalabak, commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship, Victory Calabar, said that the suspect was arrested on the 26th of October, 2016 at Nakande-Idebe area in Bakassi Local Government Area of the state.

Ngalabak, who handed over the suspect to the Cross River State director of DSS, said that the handover was in compliance with the directives of the Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral James Oluwole.

He said the operation was carried out by the men of Nigerian Navy Special Forces attached to the NNS Victory.

He said, “On the 26th of October 2016, men of the Nigerian Navy arrested one Mr. Augustine Effiong at his shop around Nakanda-Idebe in Bakassi Local Government Area.

“Earlier reports indicated that the suspect owned a pharmacy and worked in collaboration with militants by providing medical services to the injured members of the Bakassi Strike Force and Aston Boys militant groups.

“Upon his arrest, the suspect claimed he was forced by Benjamin Ene, also known as G1, and Victor Ene (G3) to provide drugs and other medical essentials to the groups.

“However, his failure to report the activities of the militants to the appropriate authority shows that he was a willing accomplice and our men had to disguise themselves as patients with a view to arrest him,” he said.

Ngalabak further said that the Navy recently arrested no fewer than 10 suspected militants in the creeks and handed them over to the relevant agencies for further actions.

Militants’ attacks: Military removes Commander in Niger Delta, appoints replacements.

A new commander for Operation Delta Safe in the Niger Delta has been appointed. He is Rear Admiral Apochi Ogabu Suleiman.

 

Suleiman relieves Rear Admiral Joseph Osa Okojie who has now been reassigned.

 

Until his appointment, Rear Admiral Suleiman was the Director Development at the Defence Headquarters.

 

Before that, he was the Flag Officer Commanding, Central Naval Command.

 

A statement by Col. Kingsley Umoh, on behalf of Director of Defence Information said “This change becomes necessary in order to inject new capability to contain the prevailing security threats and provide adequate much needed stability in the region.”

 

The appointment is take immediate effect.

 

The presidency yesterday lamented renewed attack on installations and also complained that militants were not showing interest in dialogue.

Niger Delta militants not ready for dialogue – Presidency

The Presidency has said that despite the Federal Government’s effort at pursuing dialogue with the Niger Delta stakeholders, militant groups have not reciprocated the government’s gesture towards finding peaceful solution to the crisis in the oil-producing areas of Nigeria.

A statement issued on Wednesday quoted the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, as making the observation in an interview he granted to a Kano-based radio station, Express Radio.

The statement read in part, “Despite the government’s demonstration of goodwill by bringing stakeholders to the roundtable, militant groups have continued to blow up national economic assets.”

Shehu said the continued destruction of oil installations had frustrated peace talks.

Shehu appealed to Niger Delta leaders to facilitate the stoppage of violence and economic sabotage in the area.

“We must keep national interest above all else and give priority to eschewing violence and destruction,” he said.

Shehu also said the Federal Government was facilitating development by speeding up ongoing projects and investing in construction and repair of highways, railways and electricity plants.

According to the presidential spokesman, a number of projects that existed only on paper are being executed.

“Kano-Katsina dual highway was awarded three years ago by the last administration. They didn’t pay a kobo for its start-up. President Buhari just paid money for the first tranche of 75 kilometres and work has begun,” he added.

Shehu underscored the essence of infrastructure in the country’s economic and industrial take-off, describing it as playing the same role that the arteries play in the human body.

“Without infrastructure, the country will not witness growth,” he noted.

…FG rebuffs our moves for peace –Bakassi militants

A leader of the Bakassi Strike Force, Benjamin Ene, on Wednesday indicated that moves by his group to end hostilities in the Bakassi area of the Niger Delta had been snubbed by the Federal Government.

The group restated its readiness to lay down its arms and work with the Federal Government to ensure that the problems faced by the Bakassi people were addressed.

Ene, also known as G1, had on November 8 returned a General Purpose Machine Gun and AK 47 rifles to the officials of the Department of State Services.

He also said that his group had turned down offers by foreign and local organisations to destabilise Nigeria.

In a statement made available to journalists through his counsel, Mr. Ozinko Ozinko, the militant leader, who is currently on the wanted list of Nigerian Army, said the group had over the years been sidelined in the Federal Government Amnesty Programme.

He said, “As a mark of good faith and demonstration of seriousness, on November 8 by 16.30 hours, we returned weapons our fighters seized during our last confrontation.

“We call on the whole world and the United Nations to note this declaration of ceasefire and the return of weapons while we remain vigilant and wait for the response of the Nigerian government.

“For now, we shall maintain our independence and refuse to take up offers we have been receiving to team up with other international groups and local freedom fighters for more effective confrontation and destabilisation of Nigeria.”

Ene said the group, which consists of over 1, 000 foot soldiers, would name its representative when the Federal Government showed seriousness and readiness to end the war in Bakassi.

Nigeria to lose 300,000bpd as militants bomb three oil pipelines.

The Niger Delta Avengers militant group said it has bombed three oil pipelines in southern Nigeria, an attack it said would lead to a production loss of 300,000 barrels per day in the OPEC-member nation.

Attacks on pipelines by several militant groups have slashed Nigeria’s oil production helping to tip the country into recession as it struggles to adapt to the low price of crude globally.

The Niger Delta Avengers, blamed for a wave of such attacks since the start of the year, said the latest bombing was to register its displeasure with way the government was handling grievances in the oil region.

“At about 11.45 pm November 15, 2016, our Elite Strike Team 03 struck Nembe 1, 2 and 3 truck line operated by Agip, Oando and Shell with supply capacity of 300,000 barrel per day to Bonny export terminal in Bayelsa State,” the NDA said in a statement late Tuesday.

“We are only reiterating our strong resolve that time is running (out) against the Nigerian government, that there is doom ahead,” it said.

“The Nigerian government needs our cooperation more than we need the government as it concerns the extraction of the crude oil and hydrocarbon resources in our God-given land,” it said.

There was no immediate confirmation of the attacks from the government.

Nigeria has deployed troops to end the renewed insurgency in the region and has initiated peace talks with the oil rebels.

But divisions between rival militant groups appear to be making it hard for the government to strike a lasting peace deal.

A 2009 amnesty deal with militants helped end sabotage, but the violence reignited after President Muhammadu Buhari’s cash-strapped government temporarily ended amnesty payments and charged a prominent warlord with graft.

[Pictures]: Deadly weapons surrendered during Rivers’ amnesty.

Rivers Governor Nyesom Wike announced this during the submission of the report of the Rivers State Amnesty Programme in Port Harcourt that about 22, 430 cultists accepted the amnesty while 911 assorted arms, 7661 assorted ammunition and 147 explosives were surrendered during the programme.

Governor Wike declaring the first phase of the State Amnesty Programme closed at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday

Governor Wike declaring the first phase of the State Amnesty Programme closed at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday

Governor Wike declaring the first phase of the State Amnesty Programme closed at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

Governor Wike declaring the first phase of the State Amnesty Programme closed at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

Arms, ammunitions and explosives recovered at the close of the Rivers State Amnesty Programme at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

Arms, ammunitions and explosives recovered at the close of the Rivers State Amnesty Programme at the Government House, Port Harcourt on Tuesday.

Militants give oil companies seven days to vacate Niger Delta.

The Adaka Boro Avengers, ABA, has issued a-seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government and the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, to evacuate oil companies operating in the Niger Delta region.

ABA gave the warning while reacting to a call by President of NUPENG, Igwe Achese, where he suggested that the government should employ security outfits operated by ex-militants to secure oil pipelines in the region.

Expressing its displeasure with Achese’s call, ABA in a statement by its spokesman, Edmos Ayayeibo threatened to go on rampage by attacking NUPENG’s workers and oil installations if its demand is not met.

The statement reads, “We want all Nigerians to know how we will surprise the President of the Nigeria union of petroleum and Natural gas workers (NUPENG) Mr, Igwe Achese on how he want to cause crisis in the Niger Delta region.

“By asking the Federal government of Nigeria to engage the service of a security outfit managed by some ex-militants in the Niger Delta for the security of crude oil facilities in region, his words is a slap to the the Niger Delta Agitators.

“We shall let him know that the Niger Delta is not a place for him to set fire. Rather we will go after the lives of his workers and the so called oil installations in the region. This is a sound warning to all multinational oil companies operating in region to the region for their own interest for now, until matters are resolved in the region.

“Failure to adhere to this warning we will go on rampage for the total destruction of workers and oil installations they will have their selves to be blamed.”

The militant group also commended the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu for his role so far in resolving the crises facing the oil rich region.

“The ADAKA BORO AVENGERS give Kudos to The minister of petroleum Dr, Ibe Kachuku for his tirelessly efforts in combining the crisis in the Niger Delta region, indeed he is a son of the soul. But we want all of our leaders from the Niger Delta region, especially Papa E. Kiagbodo Clark, King Alfred Diete Spiff and the Minister of Petroleum Dr, Ibe Kachuku to please step aside for us to take the bull by the horn. We are Tired of talks only.

“The future of us and our unborn children is been taking to feed the whole country on daily basis. Yet we are listening to Buhari and his APC talks,” the statement added.

“Deadline of the seven days ultimatum will be total War across all states in the Niger Delta region.”

The group also frowned at President Muhammadu Buhari’s silence since his meeting with leaders of the region.

Avengers said, “It has also come to our notice that President Muhammadu Buhari is not ready for any meaningful dialogue process in the Niger Delta. Since our representatives, Papa E. Kiagbodo Clark and the King Diete Spiff-led group summited the 16 points agenda to the President, he has not shown any sign of engaging the leaders and the leaders in any peace process.”

Recall that leaders of the region recently presented a 16-point agenda on how to resolve the crises in the region.

JTF invades militants’ camp, kill notorious militant in Bayelsa.

The Joint Military Task Force, Operation Delta Safe on Wednesday said it has invaded a militant camp and killed a notorious militant in Bayelsa State.

This was in a statement by the Coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre, ODS, Lt. Col. Olaolu Dauda on Wednesday.

Dauda said a suspected militant kingpin known as Edoboy was killed during the invasion.

He said, “The troops in conjunction with special forces conducted patrols in Sand-sand fishing camp in Bayelsa State and came upon suspected militants who had regrouped to resuscitate a camp earlier destroyed.

“Our troops engaged the suspected militants and killed one of them popularly called Edoboy.  He was one of the notorious kingpins on the wanted list of security agencies who had been terrorising innocent members of the communities in the area.”

Dauda also said another militant was killed when troops of sector 2 encountered a group of suspected sea robbers while on patrol.

He said others escaped with injuries and one AK 47, two magazines, 29 rounds of 7.62 milimeter special, 10 empty cases, seven charms, two head warmers and a cutlass were recovered.

Militants hit pipeline in Delta, ‘shoot 4 guards’.

Suspected Niger Delta militants have blown up a crude oil pipeline in Warri, Delta state, according to Punch.

The newspaper quoted a community leader as saying the attackers shot four guards before hitting the facility, which  was undergoing repairs after it had been previously bombed.

This is the second known attack in the region after Niger Delta stakeholders held a meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.

The leader said the guards “escaped by the skin of their teeth”.

“Unfortunately, only the dynamite on the barge exploded and immediately sank into the water. As I speak to you, the military are at the scene of the incident trying to dismantle the other dynamites, ” the community was quoted to have said.

Punch said an army official, who preferred anonymity, confirmed the incident.

“We heard the shots in the middle of the night, but as you know, we do not patrol the area at night, so there was nothing we could do,” he said.

For peace to return, the militants in the region had given the president a 16 point framework, including, better welfare and an increased allocation of resources from the region.

JUST IN: Militants bomb oil pipeline in Warri.

Nigerian militants on Tuesday bombed a state-run oil pipeline near the southern port city of Warri, the second attack within a week, a community leader and army officer said.

“The line which was undergoing repair after the previous attack … was billed for commissioning either today or tomorrow,” before the latest attack, chairman of Batan community Dickson Ogugu told AFP.

He said four surveillance guards deployed to protect the Trans Forcados export line narrowly escaped death after the militants opened fire on them.

“The hoodlums after chasing them from the spot came down from their speedboat, planted dynamite on swamp boogie, barge, crane and on the line,” he said.

“Unfortunately, only the dynamite on the barge exploded and immediately sank into the water. As I speak to you, the military are at the scene of the incident trying to dismantle the other dynamites.”

An army officer, who did not want to be named, confirmed the incident.

“We heard the shots in the middle of the night, but as you know, we do not patrol the area at night, so there was nothing we could do,” he said.

The line has been previously targeted by rebels.

Last week, the line was bombed just hours after President Muhammadu Buhari met with representatives of militant groups in the Niger delta to discuss how to end the unrest wracking the region.

The state-owned Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) operates the pipeline which receives crude from the Batan flowstation and feeds the Forcados export terminal.

Since the start of the year, several militant groups have attacked oil facilities, slashing the nation’s output and hammering revenues.

The militants claim to be seeking a fair share of the nation’s oil wealth for local residents as well as political autonomy for the region.

The government has launched peace talks with the rebels to end the violence.

“Stop claiming responsibility for our bombings” – Avengers tells NDGJM

There are indications of hostilities within the camp of militant groups in the Niger Delta region.

This was as the Niger Delta Avengers berated the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, NDGJM, for claiming responsibility for most of the attacks carried out on pipeline in the region.

NDGJM has severally claimed responsibility for attack on pipeline installations across the oil rich region.

But Avengers spokesperson, Mudoch Agbinibo, in a series of tweets on its twitter handle @AgbinibiND, on Monday said NDGJM was making false claims.

Aginibo wrote: “Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, NDGJM group blowing up of 3-inch and 6- inch flow lines shouldn’t give you wings.

“NDGJM, why not try your hands on major pipelines if you can. NDGJM, stop claiming responsibilities for bombings carried out by wannabes and aggrieved youths that are not part of your group.

“The Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM) has been claiming responsibility lately in the region, but I want to tell you that most of the works are not done by the group.

“You might want to ask me how I got to know about this; we are insiders and we know ourselves. Most of the claims of bombing by NDGJM are done by wannabes or aggrieved community youths.

“The Trans Forcados Pipeline is one of such jobs they claimed responsibility but was not done by NDGJM.”

NDGJM over the weekend warned the Federal Government to prepare for another onslaught on oil facilities in the region in no distant time, stressing that it would not be a part of the ceasefire declared by sister militant groups.

Niger Delta militants threaten more attacks.

The militant group, Niger-Delta Avengers, on Monday warned President Muhammadu Buhari not to deal with some persons it tagged as “sycophants” in his quest for peace in the oil-rich Niger Delta Region.

The group gave the warning in a fresh statement issued by its spokesman, Mudoch Agbimbo.

It asked the President to visit the region to find out things for himself, saying, “You cannot treat the Niger Delta region with disdain while you treat your brothers that are terrorists and kidnappers (Boko Haram) like kings and queens by committing the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement from Geneva to witness your transaction with them before they released their hostages to you.”

The statement further read, “We are disposed to dialogue but we want Mr. President to come down and negotiate with us rather than using his political aides who are sycophants and will be feeding him with wrong information. We will not take such from Mr. President; we want him to interface with us as a way to providing a lasting solution to the Niger-Delta crisis; we will not interface with political sycophants.”

Just few days ago, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate warned the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari not to rejoice yet over the recent rise in oil production in the country.

The violent group warned the current government to prepare for another attacks on oil facilities in the region in the no distant time.

However, the President of the Ijaw National Congress, Chief Boma Obuoforibo, has stated that the Niger-Delta stakeholders will not give the Federal Government an ultimatum or deadline to implement their demands for the development of the region.

According to him, the stakeholders were hopeful that the President would not rescind on his promise to alleviate the sufferings of the Niger-Delta people.

He said, “We are not going to be negative about the ability of the Federal Government to implement the demands because we have a positive mindset and we have never reached this length in the past, we are doing all this in good faith.”

Militants Bomb Oil Pipeline In Warri

Nigerian militants on Tuesday bombed a state-run oil pipeline near the southern port city of Warri, the second attack within a week, a community leader and army officer said.

“The line which was undergoing repair after the previous attack … was billed for commissioning either today or tomorrow,” before the latest attack, chairman of Batan community Dickson Ogugu told AFP.

He said four surveillance guards deployed to protect the Trans Forcados export line narrowly escaped death after the militants opened fire on them.

“The hoodlums after chasing them from the spot came down from their speedboat, planted dynamite on swamp boogie, barge, crane and on the line,” he said.

“Unfortunately, only the dynamite on the barge exploded and immediately sank into the water. As I speak to you, the military are at the scene of the incident trying to dismantle the other dynamites.”

An army officer, who did not want to be named, confirmed the incident.

“We heard the shots in the middle of the night, but as you know, we do not patrol the area at night, so there was nothing we could do,” he said.

The line has been previously targeted by rebels.

Last week, the line was bombed just hours after President Muhammadu Buhari met with representatives of militant groups in the Niger delta to discuss how to end the unrest wracking the region.

The state-owned Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) operates the pipeline which receives crude from the Batan flowstation and feeds the Forcados export terminal.

Since the start of the year, several militant groups have attacked oil facilities, slashing the nation’s output and hammering revenues.

The militants claim to be seeking a fair share of the nation’s oil wealth for local residents as well as political autonomy for the region.

The government has launched peace talks with the rebels to end the violence.

Credit: AFP

“Why we bombed Forcados pipeline.” – Militants

A militant group, Niger Delta Defence Corps (NDDC) has threatened to continue the bombing of oil pipelines unless its members were represented in the on-going peace meeting between the Pan Niger Delta group, headed by Chief Edwin Clark and the Federal Government.

NDDC, led by one General John Egbe, had threatened to blow up two pipelines in Delta and Rivers states, noting that the failure to invite the group would have dire consequences as the group would carry out attacks on oil pipelines.

A few hours after the first meeting between the Niger Delta leaders and the Federal Government, a major oil pipeline was blown up in Delta.

NDDC in a statement claimed responsibility and served notice that more oil pipelines would be attacked until representatives of the group were invited to join in the meeting between the Niger Delta stakeholders and the Federal Government. According to Egbe, more attacks on the oil pipelines would demonstrate to the Federal Government that the Pan Niger Delta group cannot halt the bombings of pipelines in the region.

He accused the Niger Delta elders of refusing to include representatives of militant groups in the Pan Niger Delta group and giving the Federal Government the impression that they can influence militants in the region.

He said the Federal Government should hold the Pan Niger Delta group responsibile for allowing the attacks as it did not ensure a proper representation, especially of militants in the meeting.

He said Chief Clark, King Diete-Spiff and some unnamed Niger Delta leaders from Delta masquerading as peace makers do not have the capacity to call militant leaders in the region to order.

“We, the Niger Delta Defence Corps (NDDC), are responsible for Trans-Forcados Export Trunk Line at Batan community in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State. As we promised the Federal Government on Monday, October 31, 2016, more attacks will soon be launched. Let the Federal Government hold Pan-Niger Delta Forum responsible for the attacks. They have not contacted us. The Federal Government should go to the media and contact all the groups and send us invitation and we will send our representatives. The Niger Delta leaders are aware that they cannot stop the bombing of oil pipelines. What they can do is to appeal which we can chose to ignore,” it said.

Following the festering militants activities in the region, President Muhammadu Buhari last Tuesday met with leaders from the region in Abuja.

The stakeholders tabled a 16-point demand.

The shopping list which bordered on the socio-economic development, security and restoration of peace in the region, included the need to fast-track interventions on some of the region infrastructure, award of oil bloc to Niger Delta indigenes, presidential amnesty programme, law and justice issues and the effect of increased military presence in the region

The forum is one of the strategies by the Federal Government to resolve the crisis.

Niger Delta Crisis Festers As Militants Disagree On Stakeholders’ Meeting With Buhari

The hope of ending incessant bombings of crude oil pipelines remain elusive over the weekend as two major violent militant groups, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) and its Urhobo/Isoko counterpart, Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM) disagreed on the 16 point demands presented to President Muhammadu Buhari during last Tuesday meeting with leaders and elders of the region.

While Niger Delta Avengers maintain that it was not disappointed by the outcome of the meeting between elders of the region and the federal government, its counterpart noted for destruction of oil pipelines upland, NDGJM said the humiliation that came with the meeting of the PANDEF with President Buhari was not a surprise to the group.

Their positions were contained in separate statements issued and signed by Messrs Aldo Agbalaja for NDGJM and Mudoch Agbinibo for NDA, both disagreeing on the contents of the demands as well as the composition of the team that met with the president.

The NDA, which first issued its statement, said   it was not disappointed by the outcome of the meeting between elders of the region and the federal government.

It stated emphatically that the fathers and elders of the region had done the needful and was not disappointed noting that the issues they raised brought to the fore the mistakes of the federalism that sustained the struggle for restoration of their land.

“Our fathers and elders have done the needful we are not disappointed. The issues they raised bring to the fore the mistakes of the Nigerian federalism that have sustained the perennial struggle for restoration of our land.”

The militant group said the demands by their elders and fathers were the minimal legitimate roadmap to setting up the framework to achieving the short, medium and long objective for the restoration of tranquility and development of the region.

“Some are issues that need affirmative actions, the immediate take off of academic activities for the Nigerian Maritime University  (NMU) Okerenkoko for the 2016/17 academic sessions, withdrawing all occupational security agencies and agents in the Niger Delta.

“The Nigerian state genuinely need the cooperation of our people to sustain the flow of the abundant crude oil and gas resources in our land to quench her appetite of developing other sections of the country without regards to the Niger Delta, the people and the environment,” it added.

The militant group said the Niger Delta elders and leaders under the leadership of Edwin Kiagbodo Clark’s Pan-Niger Delta Elders and Stakeholders Forum deserves kudos from all well meaning Nigerians for presenting such minimal demands before the government to pacify a people and region that has being continuously raped and dehumanised since 1914.

It said the demands tabled before President Buhari would lead the roadmap to engender desired peaceful atmosphere that Nigerian state so need if there was sincerity.

Read More: thisdaylive

24 Hrs After Parley, Niger Delta Militants Bomb Shell Pipeline

Less than 24 hours after a dialogue between President Muhammadu Buhari and leaders of the Niger Delta to resolve the crisis in the region, unrepentant militants on Wednesday blasted an oil pipeline belonging to the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Batan community in Warri South West Local Government area of Delta State.

Sources said that the incident occurred at SPDC Camp Five between 4 and 5 a.m. with a huge fire enveloping the site of the attack.

“Suspected militants attacked the SPDC pipeline in Batan 4 and 5 a.m. with dynamites. As I am speaking, the place is engulfed with fire but efforts are being made to put it off,” a community source said.

Another community source confirmed the incident, stating that they heard a huge explosion in the early hours of the day only to discover it was a pipeline belonging to Shell that had been attacked.

“We heard a huge explosion. As usual, when we came out, we discovered that the Shell pipeline has been attacked again. We are not sure whether it was militants that caused it or not.”

The Niger Delta Advengers (NDA), the militant group that has claimed responsibility for the destruction of oil facilities in the Niger Delta, was yet to claim responsibility for this one at the time of filing this report.

The same pipeline had been attacked by suspected militants on July 18, this year without any resistance by the military stationed in the area.

Security sources disclosed that the latest attack by the militants might be as a result of the commencement of repair work on the pipeline while negotiations are ongoing between the Niger Delta leaders and the Federal Government.

“You know that they have always warned that no repair work should be carried out on any of the oil pipelines breached. Maybe they are angry that SPDC has commenced repair work and had to resort to the attack,” a military source said.

An undercover security agent however had a contrary view, claiming that illegal oil bunkerers have deployed a new tactic of engaging militants to breach pipelines to divert the attention of security agents away from their illegal act.

Credit: ThisdayLive

We Are Ready To Surrender- Militants

Members of the Bakassi Strike Force (BSF) based in Cross Rovers State has expressed readiness to lay down their arms and embrace peace.
The military special unit, the Operation Delta Safe (ODS) under the command of Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, in several raids carried over out recently, smoked out the militants from their hideouts killing some of them and burning down their shrines.
In a twist, the group expressed a desire to lay down arms if the concerns of Bakassi returnees were addressed under a scheme midwifed by international mediators.
The BSF spokesman, Mr. Simply Benjamin (aka Humble Lion G1) claimed that the grievances of the group had nothing to do with vandalism of national assets.
He said it was regrettable that military authorities had killed several innocent people in the guise of trailing members of the militant groups.
Benjamin appealed to the Federal Government to withdraw the military as they were in the struggle for self-determination and posed no threat to national security.
He explained that unlike other militant groups, BSF have no record of destroying oil installations and was not involved in molesting innocent citizens.
He disclosed that despite offering to work with the government to address the concerns of the Bakassi returnees, the military had been on his trail.
According to him: “BSF has been agitating against the poor implementation of the Greentree Agreement after ceding Bakassi to Cameroon leaving Nigerians resident in the Peninsular without proper resettlement. We are ready to lay down arms and embrace dialogue under a process to be brokered by the international community to ensure that the Nigerian returnees were properly resettled and rehabilitated.
“Our grievance against the Federal Government has to do with the way Nigeria ceded our ancestral land to Cameroon without recourse to the feelings and rights of the people to self-determination. Under the Greentree Agreement there were steps to be taken to ensure that the fundamental rights of the returnees were protected but the government has not fulfilled its obligations under the agreement.
“We have not resorted to destroying national assets like other Niger Delta militants because it does not make sense, if we destroy assets that yield revenue, how will the Federal Government get money to fund the projects we yearn for?”
Meanwhile, the Africa Liberation Network, (ALNET), has urged the Federal Government to embrace an all inclusive, balanced and transparent dialogue with representatives of communities in the troubled Niger Delta region.
The pan-Niger Delta group in a statement by its coordinator, Eddy Macaulay insisted that it was only through an all inclusive dialogue that militancy could become history in the region.
Macauley condemned activities of militants including pipeline vandalism, even as he flayed leaders of the region for selling their place to militants, who now parade themselves as leaders of the region.
He said the agitation of a few claiming to be speaking for the region should be reviewed to accommodate all the critical interests in the region, rather than concentrating on the conditions or negotiators given by groups such as the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) as the basis for negotiations.
Macaulay emphasized that any negotiation on behalf of the Niger Delta should involve at least a representative from each of the oil producing community.
The statement which commended the FG on the decision to open negotiations with leaders of the region, charged the region’s stakeholders to wake-up to their responsibilities by standing for what is right regardless of who is involved.

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Niger Delta Leaders Present 16-point Requests To Buhari

Stakeholders from the Niger Delta on Tuesday presented 16 requests to President Muhammadu Buhari at a meeting they held behind closed doors with him at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The requests were presented by the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass Bayelsa State, King Alfred Diete Spiff, on behalf of the leaders who visited the President under the aegis of Pan Niger Delta Forum.

Among other things, the Niger Delta leaders demanded the allocation of oil blocks and awards of contracts to indigenes of the region, review of the amnesty programme, de-militarisation of communities in the region and relocation of operational headquarters of oil companies to the region, among others.

Troops invade shrine of N’Delta militants, ‘arrest chief priest’.

Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE, a military outfit in the Niger Delta, have arrested the chief priest of Bayelsa Strike Force, a militant group in Cross River state.

Olaolu Daudu, spokesman of the outfit, disclosed this in a statement issued on Monday.

He said the shrine located in Ikot Offing Ambai in Akpabuyo local government area of the state, was destroyed.

Daudu said a militant was also killed, while ammunition were recovered.

“Troops deployed at Ikang border patrolled Ikot Offing Ambai in Akpabuyo local government area discovered militants shrine and also apprehended the chief priest of the group with empty box of ammunition at another shrine at Ekpri Ebutong Estate in Bakassi,” he said.

“During anti-militancy operation, troops of sector 4 raided Efut Esighi forest and killed a notorious militant popularly known as Okon Iyo while he was trying to escape.

“Troops discovered the dead body of one of the Bakassi Strike Force militant who was earlier engaged in Efut Esighi but escaped with gun injuries. His body was seen in a bush close to the main road in Effionsa, Bakassi local government area.

“Meanwhile, troops also raided the compound of a suspected member of Bakassi Strike Force; Otobong Sunday Essien,  at Road 27 Resettlement Center Bakassi.

“A Motor Bike was recovered from his compound. In addition, troops intercepted a Passat wagon car owned by a suspected Bakassi Strike Force militant known as “G1”. He is the sentry Commander of the group.”

He added that an attack on an oil facility in Delta state was foiled.

“On 31 October 2016, troops foiled vandalism of NPDC Well Head at Kokori Oil Field, Oil Mining Lease 30 located at Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State,” he said.

“Operation DELTA SAFE will continue to ensure sanity of the Niger Delta Region as law abiding members of the public go about their legitimate daily businesses.”

Troops Invade Shrine of N’Delta Militants, ‘Arrest Chief Priest’

Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE, a military outfit in the Niger Delta, have arrested the chief priest of Bayelsa Strike Force, a militant group in Cross River state.

Olaolu Daudu, spokesman of the outfit, disclosed this in a statement issued on Monday.

He said the shrine located in Ikot Offing Ambai in Akpabuyo local government area of the state, was destroyed.

Daudu said a militant was also killed, while ammunition were recovered.

“Troops deployed at Ikang border patrolled Ikot Offing Ambai in Akpabuyo local government area discovered militants shrine and also apprehended the chief priest of the group with empty box of ammunition at another shrine at Ekpri Ebutong Estate in Bakassi,” he said.

“During anti-militancy operation, troops of sector 4 raided Efut Esighi forest and killed a notorious militant popularly known as Okon Iyo while he was trying to escape.

“Troops discovered the dead body of one of the Bakassi Strike Force militant who was earlier engaged in Efut Esighi but escaped with gun injuries. His body was seen in a bush close to the main road in Effionsa, Bakassi local government area.

“Meanwhile, troops also raided the compound of a suspected member of Bakassi Strike Force; Otobong Sunday Essien,  at Road 27 Resettlement Center Bakassi.

“A Motor Bike was recovered from his compound. In addition, troops intercepted a Passat wagon car owned by a suspected Bakassi Strike Force militant known as “G1”. He is the sentry Commander of the group.”

He added that an attack on an oil facility in Delta state was foiled.

“On 31 October 2016, troops foiled vandalism of NPDC Well Head at Kokori Oil Field, Oil Mining Lease 30 located at Ethiope East Local Government Area of Delta State,” he said.

“Operation DELTA SAFE will continue to ensure sanity of the Niger Delta Region as law abiding members of the public go about their legitimate daily businesses.”

Nigeria Lost N2.1trn to Militancy – NNPC boss

Nigeria has lost over N2 trillion to militancy and pipeline vandalism since the beginning of the year, Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Maikanti Baru has said.

He said: “Over 7000kpd of crude oil has been lost due to vandalism this year. A bulk of the loss is from JV assets.

“This implies that 60 percent of oil production lost is NNPC-FGN equity. At an estimated price of $45 per barrel, the total 2016 revenue loss to the Federation Account translates to about $7 billion.

“This loss is equivalent to a new 7,000mw power plant; new 350kpd refinery; over 30 per cent of national budget; and a new 1,700- kilometre pipeline,’’ he was quoted as saying by online newspaper Premium Times

To resolve this, Baru said the NNPC planned to increase the security of oil and gas assets, improve its community social responsibility and the amnesty programme.

He added that the NNPC planned “to renegotiate terms of Production Sharing Contracts with deep offshore operating companies because, with the current agreement, only 17.7 per cent of total revenue comes to government”.

Military operation won’t stop us – Militants

Adaka Boro Avengers (ABA) has said military presence in the Niger Delta will not stop agitation for control of resources.

The ABA said hostilities will soon break out in the Niger Delta but held out that it is ready for a dialogue process that would be led by Chief Edwin Clark.

“All we want you to know is that hostilities in the Niger Delta region will soon begin because the time that was given to you was enough for any meaningful dialogue. This does not mean we are not ready for dialogue.

“We are ready for any meaningful dialogue process that will be headed by Chief Edwin Clark. We want you to know that whenever you are ready to engage in any meaningful dialogue process, you know what to do. Our demands still remain the same. We want to control our resources and pay appropriate tax to the central government; that is fiscal federalism in practice and in principles.”

Government, representatives of multinational oil corporations and elders as well as stakeholders should guide themselves with the following documents: the Sir Henry Willinks Commission Report of 1958, The Ogoni Bill of Rights, The Kaiama Declaration of the Ijaw Youth Council, The General Alexander Ogomudia Committee Report, The Niger Delta Technical Committee Report which contains the Pre- amnesty issues and agreement with the government of Nigeria in 2009…”

In a related development, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) said the region has the right to demand control of its resources, just as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said it has endorsed the meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and representative of Pan Niger Delta Group (PNDG), Chief Clark slated for October 31.

NDA spokesman, Murdcoh Agbinibo said the Niger Delta region is not a conquered region and the people have a legitimate right to demand control of their resources which is a struggle different from tribal and religious bigotry.

He, however, said “the region is not a conquered unit of the Federation called Nigeria. It is our legitimate right to control our resources and pay appropriate taxes to the central government.

Those concepts of revenue sharing and allocation formula are alien to federalism. Anywhere in the world, there are conflicts, there emerges merchants of conflict and Niger Delta is no exception.

“However, it is the responsibility of government or any interventionist agencies to identify and address conflict agents with genuine intents and spirit rather than pseudo-agents and political profiteers.”

Meanwhile, MEND’s spokesman, Jomo Gbomo in a statement endorsed a proposed meeting between President Buhari and Clark.

“Nevertheless, with news of the forthcoming meeting between president Buhari and the Chief Clark-led Pan Niger Delta Group, we are confident that the concessions already secured by MEND shall be respected by the Federal Government.

“Consequently, we urge members of the Clark-led PNDG to put aside personal interests and ambitions of primitive aggrandisement.

“Rather, we implore them to realise that the Niger Delta region is at a Zebra-crossing and, therefore, they must remain steadfast and focused on their core mandate, to wit: restoration of sustainable and permanent peace and development of the region.”

“Then, the framework can be drawn for achieving the short, medium and long term objectives toward the restoration of our land and reparation for the people that have been raped and colonized since 1914,” General Edmos Ayayeibo spokesperson Adaka Boro Avengers wrote.

Ijaw militants behind Lagos school kidnap – Ayorinde

The Lagos State Government on Wednesday said suspected militants from the Niger Delta were behind the abduction of four pupils and teachers, who were whisked away from their school, Lagos Model College (Senior and Junior), Igbonla, Epe on October 6.

The state government, however, said the victims, comprising two pupils, vice-principal and head teacher had already gone through medical checkup and safely reunited with their families.”

The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said this in a statement he issued yesterday, saying the state government would spare nothing until the state “is rid of criminal elements.”

After the victims were released on Tuesday, Ayorinde reiterated the resolve of the state government “to protect lives and property. The children have undergone medical check-up after which they were reunited with their families.

“The children are doing well. Also, they have gone through medical checkup. Already, they have been safely reunited with their families after they were released and undergone medical checkup.”

Ayorinde said the state government “welcomed the release of the school pupils, vice-principal and head teacher of Igbonla Model College, Epe. The victims were kidnapped by suspected Ijaw militants on October 6.”

The commissioner urged residents to be more vigilant, security conscious and report all suspected persons and objects seen within their neighbourhood to the appropriate security agencies.

“The determination of the government to ensure 24-hour security of the state is evident in the huge investment in the equipment and welfare of security agencies, especially the police,” he explained.

He said the state government “has taken adequate steps to stem the tide of kidnapping in the state, in line with the directive of the state governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, plans have been concluded to commence the demolition of illegal structures erected across the state waterfronts and creeks.

“Often times, the incidence of kidnapping are perpetrated through the waterways and as such, these illegal structures provide a leeway for these criminal elements to plan and execute their nefarious activities.

“This step, we believe, will go a long way to address this menace. The state government has also begun steps to boost community policing with the recent announcement by the governor that at least 5,000 neighbourhood watchers will soon be recruited to improve surveillance across the state, especially at the rural areas.”

Meanwhile, following the release of the two kidnapped students of Government Model College, Igbonla, Epe, their vice principal and teacher, late Tuesday night by their abductors, it was yesterday gathered that they were not assaulted or molested in any way.

Although one of the students was a female, she was also not assaulted by the gang, rather, her ill health facilitated their early release from captivity.

Militants Blow Up Another NPDC Facility In Delta

The Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, NDJM, today, bombed another Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, NPDC, delivery line in Delta State.

The group in a statement by self styled Gen Aldo Agbalaja, said: “As a mark of our commitment to a just course and to prove to the wicked and ungrateful multinational oil companies and their Nigerian military allies, who have been forcefully taking our natural endowment, without any visible returns, that we own our lands, the Opudo Strike Team of the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, at about 01. 00 hour today , 29th Sept 2016, bombed the Unenurhie-Evwreni delivery line in Ughelli south/north respectively operated by NPDC.”

“We want to assure the oil multinational companies that we are determined to end their operations in our lands and this we shall if they fail to show the will to change their relationship with our people and their operational attitude in our lands.

“For the avoidance of doubts, we want to say here, categorically, that no amount of military protection/presence can stop this whirlpool, no amount of shoddily arranged military operation can quell the will of our gallant army.” the group said.

It added: “The same way their Operation Crocodile Smile was sunken by our Operation Crocodile Tears is how all their schemes against our land and people will continue to be defeated.”

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Why We Blew Up Another NPDC Pipeline In Delta- Militants

The new militia, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, on Monday announced that its strike force blew up the Afiesere-Ekiugbo pipeline belonging to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) in Ughelli North LG Area of Delta State.

In a statement e-mailed to THISDAY in Asaba the group claimed that it successfully carried out the attack on the oil facility to prove the ineffectiveness of the hordes of security personnel deployed in the Niger Delta region by the Federal Government.

It said that it carried out the attack at about 11:30 pm on Sunday.
“The Opudo strike force, at about 11:30 pm on Sunday, September 18, 2016, struck the Afiesere-Ekiugbo delivery line in Ughelli, operated by NPDC/Shoreline.”

The statement signed by the spokesman of the militia, “General” Aldo Agbalaja, also warned that its destructive campaign code-named “Operation Crocodile Tears” targeting oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta outside creeks would continue until its demands were met.

“The Operation Crocodile Tears is not slowing down, but determined to achieve target”, the statement, adding, “Until the federal government takes

the proper steps, this song will continue to play.”

The group, which also had harsh words for major oil companies operating in the region, labeled the government’s new military initiative in the oil-rich region? code-named “Operation Crocodile Smile” as a scam designed to coverup financial fraud in the nation’s
“military system.”

The statement said in part, “This is to once again emphasize our earlier revelation that the so-called Operation Crocodile Smile is nothing but a scam: some jumbled job, sewn together to retire some recently embezzled military budget. Were it a serious endeavour, as the entire military system has sought to bamboozle Nigerians and the entire world to believe, the half-baked operation would have at least been reaping marginal results, asides those wrong arrests, lacking in intelligence, that it had realised.

“This is to you, Gen Buratai, let your crocodile continue to smile, your time for reckoning is at hand, probably by the time the smiley crocodile finally sinks, you will see its tears and blood. Under your nose, the very task of guarding oil assets (which we consider a waste of time, resources and a failure of priorities) will fail because you are both insincere and incompetent.

“The Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate is just starting, you are yet to see what we are about, by the time the alpha operations are initiated, you will need more than these fighter jets to keep your troops safe in any part of the Niger Delta.

“To the oil and gas companies, we have observed that you have placed your trust in the guns and fighter jets of the Nigerian armed forces, our words for you are few: keep at it and wait for your rewards, which have almost come upon you.”

Credit: thisdaylive

BREAKING: Militants destroy oil facility in Delta

A militant group, Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate have destroyed a major crude oil delivery line belonging to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company.

 

According to reports, the pipeline was attacked at about 11:30pm on Sunday around Ughelli North Local Government Area of the state.

 

The spokesperson of the group, Aldo Agbalaja claimed responsibility for the attack in a statement on Monday.

Details later…

Death Of Tompolo’s Father Threatens Ceasefire In Niger Delta

The death, last week of Chief Thomas Ekpemupolo, father of ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo), is threatening the fragile peace in the Niger Delta, Reuters reported on Monday, saying militants were becoming restive over the circumstances of the death.

The militants massed in the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), that had dealt heavy blows to oil and gas installations in the region, had entered into an unofficial ceasefire with the federal government, pending formal negotiations of their grievances last month.

But the death of the father of the militant leader, the report said, might reverse the little gains of the peace process and lead to the resumption of hostilities as the militants were said to be holding the military vicariously liable for the incident.

The octogenarian had fallen while fleeing an army raid on his hometown in May and injured his leg, which had to be amputated two months later, said a spokesman for his son, Tompolo.

The old man died last week from complications arising from the amputation. And the NDA militants were said to be agitated by this.

Although security sources said Tompolo had links to the NDA, which had claimed responsibilities for the attacks on oil and gas installations, which incidentally began shortly after corruption charges were brought against him, he had persistently denied any involvement in the acts.

“In a nutshell, [the] government caused the death of my father,” Frank Ekpemupolo, another son, said at a gathering of 400 mourners at his father’s compound in Warri, the largest city in Delta State.

Mourners including community chiefs, politicians and villagers accused troops of harassing people in the fishing communities dotted along the region’s waterways.

An Avengers spokesman told Reuters the military was “harassing poor people of the Niger Delta”. The military denies it, saying troops are merely searching for militants and criminals.

Several new militant groups have sprung up in the last few weeks, each with its own demands, and some have vowed to launch a new wave of attacks.

Community leaders say they are concerned that the government has not contacted militants or unveiled a negotiation team, three weeks after the Avengers said they were ready for the promised talks.

“We haven’t been contacted, but we are not worried,” said the Avengers spokesman.
Captain Mark Anthony, a spokesman for the Niger Delta Liberation Force, a defunct militant group, said the “government’s muteness” since the Avengers announced a ceasefire was creating “a security concern for everybody”.

“They have only stopped bombing temporarily. It doesn’t mean they are tired of bombing,” he said.
An army offensive was launched in late August against militant camps which led to the deaths of five people and the arrests of 23 others.

Eric Omare, spokesman for the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), which represents one of the region’s largest ethnic groups, said statements by President Muhammadu Buhari that militants would be treated like Boko Haram jihadists prompted fears that the offer of talks was a ruse to prepare for a military onslaught.

Tensions in Warri are concentrated along its murky brown waterways — used by fishermen, commuters and thieves stealing crude oil — where fleeting encounters with strangers can end in bloodshed.

Boats slow down and their occupants raise their arms when they encounter naval patrol boats fitted with machine guns.

Fishermen say they fear being mistaken for militants and shot. Gunmen disguised as priests killed three soldiers last month.

An official who did not want to be named said “arrangements” were being made to resume dialogue with the militants.

He said the government wanted each militant group to send representatives, rather than acting through intermediaries as in the past.

Militants Blow Up Another Pipeline In Delta

A militant group, Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, NDGJM, in the early hours of Tuesday, blew up the Afiesere-Iwhrenene major delivery line to UPS/UQCC, operated by Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, NDPC/Shorelines Petroleum in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.

The attack confirmed by a leader of the group, self-styled Gen. Aldo Agbalaja, came as the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, which ceased hostilities, last month, accused the military of harassing old men, women and innocent youths in the region under the guise of hunting for militants.

Meanwhile, the Ijaw People Development Initiative, IPDI, has warned that the Federal Government’s plan to continue to militarize the region and intimidate the people despite the fact that NDA and other dangerous militant groups had opted for dialogue will not make the region to forsake the Niger Delta struggle.

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Militants Threaten to Burn 500 Tankers Over Bad Road

Members of the Black Mambas militant group have threatened to set ablaze over 500 tankers if nothing was done by the Federal Government, by today, to alleviate the suffering of commuters on the Calabar-Ikom Road.

Leader of the group and coordinator of the Niger Delta People Volunteer Front (NDPVF), Asu Simeon Mbi (also known as General Simba) said his men were determined to execute the operation, if nothing urgent was done to alleviate the suffering of transporters and other road users.

Mbi, in a statement, yesterday, vowed that, if nothing was done at the expiration of the ultimatum, Federal Government would count losses.

“I will set fire on those tankers queuing along Calabar-Ikom Highway because of one bad spot the government cannot fill. No matter the security in place, we will execute it. Just watch and see. Then, the federal government should get ready to count losses again,” Mbi declared.

The group also warned Biafrans and other communities around the vicinity to relocate by October 16 “for their own good.”

Meanwhile, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has, once again, intervened on the failed portions of the Calabar-Ikom highway, after a successful emergency repairs of the Calabar-Itu-Ikot-Ekpene-Aba federal highway.

The acting Managing Director, Ibim Semenitari said an urgent intervention was necessary to alleviate the problems facing commuters and transporters on the road.

She said despite funding constraints, the commission was ready to take up the challenge of providing relief for those using the road and stated that NDDC’s engineers would commence rehabilitation work immediately.

Stay Away From Rivers – Militant Leader Warns Avengers

A militant leader in the Niger Delta region, ‘General’ Don Waney, emerged from the creeks on Monday and warned members of the Niger Delta Avengers and other militant groups not to come close to Rivers State.

Waney, who said he was ready to surrender his arms and ammunition and embrace the amnesty offered by the State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, also urged militant groups in the oil rich region, including NDA, to embrace peace and put an end to the destruction of oil facilities.

The militant leader, who is the leader of the Aggrieved Youth Movement said in Aligwu, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government Area on Monday, that he would fight any militant group that decided to make Rivers its target.

Explaining that the state cannot achieve any form of development without peace, Waney added that his group was not into kidnapping or any form of violence.

He stated that his group were only agitated as a result of youth unemployment, lack of technical training for manpower development, scholarships, widespread poverty, and lack of basic social infrastructure, among others.

According to the militant leader, “On a strong note, we are non-violent and we shall remain so in our collective agitation for a better ONELGA (Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni LGA), Orashi and Rivers State.

“In the light of this, we call on the Niger Delta Avengers group to leave ONELGA and Orashi region out of their targets.

“We are against the bombing and destruction of vital oil and gas installations in our communities. We shall not allow them or any of their type to enter our land.

“We want peace and development and that is what we have signed with our governor, Nyesom Wike. Rivers State is peaceful and we do not want outsiders to cause crisis and general insecurity in our state again.”

Commending the state governor for offering amnesty to repentant militants, Waney expressed the need for other aggrieved groups to surrender their arms and embrace peace in order to ensure the growth of Niger Delta.

He said, “We have, accordingly, accepted amnesty gesture the government has granted us. We salute the governor for his love, for the sanctity of lives of some young people, who may have been deceived in the past.

“We believe that the amnesty will go a long way to transform for good, the lives of these youngsters. We hereby call on other armed groups to embrace the amnesty programme and give up militancy so that together, we can benefit from the development strides of the Rivers State Government.

He, however, urged the Federal Government to consider repentant militants in the region and ensure that the post-amnesty programme covered oil and gas producing communities.

Earlier in his remark, the President of Omoku youths, Mr. Kingsley Nonye, pleaded with the warring factions in the local government area to forget their differences and allow peace to reign.

Nonye also urged oil companies in ONELGA not to neglect the youths, even as he appealed to them to be serious with their corporate social responsibilities.

He observed that the multinational oil firms were using divide-and-rule tactic to deal with the youths of ONELGA, urging to desist from such act.

Nonye said, “There has been total negligence on the part of the Federal Government and the oil companies operating in ONELGA. They should understand we are the highest oil producing area. We have been contributing immensely to the economy of the country.

“Today, we have poverty at a very high level, unemployment, no health care system. Our challenges are too many to mention. But in the name of pea

White Garment Pastor Arrested For Keeping Guns For Militants & Robbers In Lagos

Pastor of Cherubim and Seraphim Church of Zion at Igando area of Lagos and a mother of seven have been arrested for allegedly keeping guns and preparing food for militants. However, the pastor, who identified himself as Governor Peretun, denied the allegation. According to the police, Peretun used to keep guns for militants.

These militants were part of those who, two months ago, repeatedly invaded Ewedogbon community in Igando area of the state and wreaked havoc on residents. The police said: “The pastor was aiding
the militants in pipeline vandalism.

Even the boats, which were used in the Agbara bank robbery operation where a policeman was shot dead, were kept in his custody.” The police said that Peretun was arrested along with a 47-year-old mother of seven, Ebimobe JoJo.

Police said that Jojo was the one cooking for the militants in the Igando creek area. Peretun said that he was once a fisherman but abandoned that trade after the Holy Spirit ‘directed’ him to move into the creek and establish a church there.

The suspect said he was about to board a bus at Iba Bus Stop, heading to Ondo State, when police detectives arrested him. He said: “After I built my church, I opened up the waterways to allow people to start paddling their boats through the routes.

After a while, I started buying fuel from the militants. I used to buy 50 litres for N1,000. I would then resell for N1,500, which was how we became friends. “They used to visit me and I also usually visit them in the creek.

There was a time operatives of Department of State Services (DSS) stormed the creek. I was arrested. After explaining myself to them, I was set free. The DSS men, however, warned me to stop buying from the militants. But I didn’t.”

Stating her own side of the story, JoJo said she used to buy fuel from the militants in the creek.

She added: “I don’t cook food for them, but I used to go with food for them, so that they would sell fuel to me on credit. Anytime I go to buy fuel from the militants, I don’t leave early, to avoid being arrested. When they saw that I used to come with food, they told me to be preparing food for them.

They said they couldn’t come out of the creek.

“Whenever I go to buy fuel from them, the leader of the militants called TK and his boys are always armed with AK47. They also dressed in military uniform; initially I thought they were soldiers.”

The police said that Peretun’s face was captured while he was hiding the militants’ guns. The police added that Jojo’s face was also captured while she was taking food to the militants in the creek. The police said their faces were captured by drone deployed into the coastal area after the militants invaded the community.

New Telegraph had reported that the militants on July 24 invaded Ewedogbon and unleashed terror on the residents. The Divisional Police Officer (DPO) was shot in the back, while the Divisional Crime Officer (DCO), sustained gunshot injury while being chased by militants.

Militants Blow Another Facility In Delta

Despite the ongoing military “Operation Crocodile Smile” in the Niger Delta region, an Urhobo militant group, Niger Delta Greenland Justice Movement, NDGJM, in the early hours of today, blew up the Ogor-Oteri major delivery line, operated by the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company and Shorelines Petroleum in the state.

The group in a statement by its leader, “Gen” Aldo Agbalaja, in a statement, claiming responsibility for the attack at about 3.00 hours, said it was executed by its Uproot Team B, said the group was also launching “Operation Crocodile Tears” since the military had launched “Operation Crocodile Smile” to supposedly worsen the Niger Delta crisis.

It said: “Recent developments around our region, especially as it concerns the issue of justice and our inalienable right to protect our heritage, have proven us right all along. Now it has become clearer who is serious about getting justice for our people and who has been using the name of the region and the destinies of all our peoples to feather their nests, raising dusts merely to harass the Nigerian state and the oil multinationals into parting with money.”

“Although some selfish machinery, merely put together to achieve some pecuniary ends, has been parading in the name of the peoples of the Niger Delta, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate will not be derailed on its mission to getting justice for the people.”
The group said those who want to join the self acclaimed leaders of the region to make quick money in the arrangement they had put together were free to do so, but it lacked confidence in the show they put together, calling it a pan Niger Delta initiative. It said those people could speak for Ijaw nation, but certainly not all the nations in the region, adding:

“When lines are blurred, justice is most likely to be miscarried. If there shall be a negotiation, it must be seen and indeed, must be in actual sense, be representing all the individual nations of the region equally.”

Read More:

http://www.vanguardngr.com/2016/08/breaking-news-militants-blow-another-facility-delta/

Soyinka Urges Buhari To Dialogue With Militants

Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to hearken to the agitations of Niger Delta militant groups, who have had to resort to insurgency and bombing of oil pipeline in recent months.
Soyinka made the call while addressing journalists at the launch of Study Abroad in Lebanon (SAIL) initiative in Lagos on yesterday.

The elder statesman, who said he was recently contacted to play an interventionist role in the crisis rocking the oil-producing region, appealed to Buhari to show more commitment that would bring about lasting solution.
“I wish to make an appeal to government to respond to the outrage of the militant groups. That was a request being made by some of the groups, who got me into this interventionist role in the first place. At the moment, they feel the government of President Buhari is not seriously responding to their outrage. And I wish to personally appeal to the government to positively respond and lets us see where it ends us,” Soyinka said.
The Nobel Laureate was however quick to debunk the insinuation that he was actually working with some international organizations to get the crisis resolved, insisting that so far, he has been acting in his capacity as an individual interventionist.

Credit: dailytrust

Dialogue: New Militant Group Rejects Clark, Backs Diete-Spiff

A new militant group, Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, which has claimed responsibility for attacks on oil facilities in the upland area of the Niger Delta, on Monday warned the Federal Government not to negotiate with Chief Edwin Clark-led negotiation team on behalf of militants in the region.

Instead of Chief Clark’s team, the group said they will accept any dialogue coming from the government through the Niger Delta Dialogue Contact Group, led by the first military governor of Rivers State and Amanyanabo (traditional ruler) of Twon Brass of Bayelsa State, King Alfred Diete-Spiff.

The Niger Delta Avengers had on Saturday said they were ready to support any collective/negotiation team emerging from Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark and other genuine Niger Delta stakeholders.

But in a statement issued by the spokesperson of the NDGJM, Aldo Agbalaja, on Monday, the group said the Ijaw national leader cannot negotiate for militants in the region, noting that Clark’s team was the same ‘gang of breast-pocket politicians’ who in the six to seven years of Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency denied the region of development.

It threatened to carry out further deadly attacks on oil institution until the President Muhammadu Buhari does the right thing for the people of the region.

The statement read, “We are also aware that there is a group (NDDCG), led by the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass, Alfred Diete-Spiff, which has the involvement of some international agencies. We would rather the Federal Government builds on this group to reach out to the genuine representatives of the peoples of the region, across the six states, to discuss the way forward. The reason is that we believe that what is worth doing at all is worth doing well.

“Build on this group and reach out to our people, not on an Edwin Clark group which had connived with Jonathan in the past to subject this region, including the majority of our Ijaw brothers, to one of the most untold humiliations by leaving the region they claimed to be representing worse than it was under previous administrations.

“Enough of these buccaneers in the name of leaders of the region. Our people from both the upland and the creeks deserve a better deal, not the Avengers kind of deal. We are serving a notice that the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate is still carrying on with this campaign against Nigeria’s oil and gas interest until the Federal Government does the right thing.”

NDGJM added that the same people who established the Niger Delta Avengers were the same people who called for the ceasefire.

“Niger Delta Avengers: As a matter of fact, the people who called for truce were the same set of people who put the Avengers together in the first place. Therefore, the hypocrisy of these people is becoming glaring to the world by the day.

“We also know that the charade called ceasefire is in the bid to collect more money from both the Federal Government and oil companies, which would be shared between the founders and the boys of the Avengers. We hereby serve a notice that the so-called truce called by E.K. Clark and co. is not recognised by the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, as we do not see Clark as the leader of all Niger Delta, but of only the Ijaw nation.

“Therefore, President Buhari should take note. Stop wasting your time on these people; they are not serving the interest of the Niger Delta and they cannot stop the current campaign. They can only withdraw their boys, the Avengers, from action but not the genuine campaigners for a better Niger Delta.

“We hereby serve a notice that the so-called truce called by E.K. Clark and co. is not recognised by the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, as we do not see Clark as the leader of all Niger Delta, but of only the Ijaw nation”, the statement further added.

Declare Niger Delta Republic And Face Treason – Police Tell Militants

The Police have warned the Niger Delta Avengers against its planned secession from Nigeria, saying it is a treasonable offence.

The Force Public Relations Officer, Donald Awunah, stated that the security agencies would not allow any action that might lead to a breakdown of law and order in any part of the country.

He advised the militant group against daring the might of the Federal Government, describing their reported plan to declare a Niger Delta republic on October 1 as provocative.

Awunah admonished the militants to channel their grievances through legal means, insisting that the
police and other security agencies would not condone any act of lawlessness in the region.

He said, “I believe they (militants) know that it is a treasonable felony to declare a republic. The police and other security agencies will not allow any treasonable action to be perpetrated in any part of the country. They have been warned.”

The Niger Delta Avengers on Thursday threatened that it will declare a Niger Delta Republic on October 1, should President Muhammadu Buhari fails to restructure the country.

It also said the group was praying for the Buhari-led Federal Government to discover oil in commercial quantity in the northern part of the country so as to free the people of the Niger Delta from her oppressive tendency.

The NDA had claimed responsibility for major attacks on oil facilities in the region in recent past, vowing not to relent until the nation’s economy was completely crippled.

The group’s spokesman, Mudoch Agbinibo, stated this on Thursday in reaction to President Buhari’s order directing the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to increase the tempo on oil exploration in the North-East.

The group said that once oil in commercial quantity is discovered in the North, its people would appreciate what the people of the Niger Delta have been experiencing in the hands of the Nigerian government.

The NDA re-emphasized that the country was in dire need of restructuring to possibly save the country from doom, accusing the present government of dividing the country through her ‘misdirected policies.’

The NDA said, “Our prayer for Buhari and the Northern hypocrites (the Northern governors) is that oil should be found in commercial quantity in the North so that they can let the Niger Delta go.

“The Buhari-led government has failed Nigerians with its misdirected policies that have divided the country. As such, nobody wants to be part of that failed state; not even the Niger Delta.”

The statement added further, “The October 1 declaration of independence is still sacrosanct, if the Nigerian government fails to retrace its step by restructuring this country.

“We want to warn the general public that those using the NDA to defraud the  people, the days of reckoning are close-by.”

Niger Delta Avengers ‘Willingly Agree’ To Dialogue With FG.

The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) have agreed to dialogue with the federal government to resolve the lingering crisis in the Niger Delta region.

 

Ballantyne Agiri, spokesman for the dialogue group, said this in a signed statement on Wednesday.

 

Agiri said that the NDA had constituted contact and a dialogue group to engage the federal government in meaningful dialogue as part of the initiatives to resolve the crisis.

 

He added that the group was determined to come out with results that would yield lasting peace, equity, justice and harmony among all ethnic nationalities in Nigeria.

 

“The body has collectively and willingly agreed to heed the clarion call of eminent Nigerians and international community to dialogue with the Federal Government,” he said.

 

He urged Nigerians and the international community to follow the event and watch out which side would default in terms of abiding by the rules and spirit of the dialogue.

 

“The federal government should from the inception of the dialogue rule out from the agenda any monthly monetary inducement or stipend for the NDA,” Agiri said.

 

“The federal government should be ready for structural changes that should be human and development oriented.

 

“Members of the avengers’ group (who will participate in the dialogue) have already been selected, each based on his integrity, forthrightness, honesty and life track records.

 

“The names of members of the group for now shall not be made public for personal reasons until they begin functioning in few days ahead.”

 

NDA has claimed responsibility for series of bombings of oil and gas infrastructure in the Niger Delta in the last few months.

 

The activities of the group put a strain on Nigeria’s economy with crude oil production, Nigeria’s economic mainstay, disrupted.

Militants Blow Up Nigeria’s Pipeline, Chevron Protest Goes On

Militants blew up another crude pipeline in Nigeria’s Niger Delta, a youth and protest leader said on Thursday.

Protesters also continued to block the entrance to a Chevron oil depot in the restive southern region for a third day.

On Wednesday, a previously unknown group called Delta Greenland Justice Mandate said it had attacked a crude pipeline belonging to state oil firm NNPC and local firm Shoreline Natural Resources in Urhobo in Delta state.

“It is true but I don’t have details yet,” said Collins Edema, a youth leader. He said the pipeline was on fire, but Reuters was unable to confirm this and it was not immediately possible to get more details.

He also said protesters, mostly unemployed youths, were continuing a demonstration started on Tuesday at the gate of a Chevron oil depot to demand jobs and housing, claiming the facility had destroyed their settlement.

“Our protest is going on peacefully today on Thursday. Our community workers inside the tank farm have joined the protest as we speak,” Edema said.

“Nobody is going in and out of the facility since we’ve started but Chevron has airlifted their senior staff from there,” he said, a claim Reuters could not verify.

Chevron confirmed a protest had taken place but did not say whether oil production had been affected.

Read More: dailytrust

 

Militants Kill Three Soldiers, Cart Away Weapons In Bayelsa

Suspected militants on Monday attacked the location of the newly-activated Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe, in Bayelsa State, and killed three soldiers.

The incident, which reportedly occurred about 9.30am, took place at Tombi Jetty, Ogolomabiri in Nembe Local Government Area of the state.

The militants were also said to have made away with military gunboats, rifles and other ammunition, after an ambush on the operatives stationed at a checkpoint.

The checkpoint, it was learnt, is located at the community’s entrance and had been in existence since the era of militancy in the Niger Delta.

It was also learnt that heavy sounds of gunshots allegedly fired during the surprise attack unsettled the community for about 30 minutes.

The situation was said to have thrown the residents of the community into panic, as many of them who initially thought the area was under siege ran in different directions for safety.

It was further learnt that the gunmen, who stormed the area with unspecified number of speedboats, dressed in white uniform to deceive their targets of their real intentions.

Their immaculate white dresses, it was learnt, were designed to create an impression that they were members of a white garment church on a funeral procession.

A resident of Nembe, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there was widespread fear in the community.

Read More:

http://punchng.com/militants-kill-three-soldiers-cart-away-weapons-bayelsa/

Raymond Dokpesi Denies Alleged Sponsoring Of NDA

The National chairmanship aspirant of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Raymond Aleogho Dokpesi, has denied sponsoring activities of the Niger Delta Avengers, saying that it is nothing but a blatant concoction of falsehood obviously laced with the political intention of throwing a spanner in the works of our nation wide campaign/consultation with PDP delegates throughout the country in our bid to contest the National Chairmanship of the PDP.

He called on all Nigerians and delegates to the PDP National Convention to ignore Cynthia Whyte allegation.

This was amde known in a statement signed by Alhaji Shehu Gabam DG, Raymond Dokpesi
Campaign Organisation today.,

Rivers State Gov, Nyesom Wike, Dismisses Claims Of Being A Sponsor Of Niger Delta Avengers

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has released a statement denying claims that he was a sponsor of Niger Delta Avengers.

A faction of the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers had released a statement over the weekend that himself and some politicians including former President Goodluck Jonathan and some others were sponsors of their activities.

In a statement by his spokesman Simeon Nwakandu, Wike described the group’s claim as “false media propaganda.”

The statement reads;

“Our attention has been drawn to yet another false media propaganda wherein it was claimed that Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is one of the sponsors of the militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers.

We nequivocally deny this false report which was fabricated with the aim of diverting attention from the superlative performance of Governor Wike.

Any close observer of this propaganda machine would have noticed that all they do is concoct lies about Rivers State.

image

We urge all well-meaning persons to disregard this current falsehood credited to a faceless splinter group of NDA.

This falsehood may not be unconnected to Governor Wike’s speech at the just-concluded conference of the Nigerian Guild of Editors where he publicly declared that he and other stakeholders in the state have prevented militant groups from sabotaging oil installations as is the case elsewhere.

Not happy with this declaration, they resolved to concoct another ill-conceived report trying to mislead the people.

Nigerians already know what these propagandists represent. They represent retrogression , deliberate falsehood, under-development and biased unprofessional journalism.

Governor Nyesom Ezenwo Wike is a patriotic leader, committed to the sustenance and improvement of the nation’s democracy and economy.

He is a promoter of security and good governance. He cannot be disparaged by concocted publications from APC media agents.”

Govt Shuts Firm Supplying Militants With Explosives

The Federal Government has uncovered a firm which supplies militants the explosives with which they have been bombing oil installations in the Niger Delta.

The firm was said to have diverted 9,000 kilogrammes of nitro-glycerine explosives and 16,420 pieces of detonators to the militants for “illegal use”.

National Security Adviser (NSA) Maj.-Gen. Muhammed Babagana Monguno yesterday said investigation revealed that the explosives allegedly diverted by Nigerian Development and Construction Company (NDCC) based in Koko, Delta State, were being used by militants to bomb oil installations and facilities.

According to him, an inventory of the records of explosive magazines and quarries in the region, revealed the diversion of a large quantity of explosives and pieces of detonators.

 NDCC, an importer and seller of explosives, has been sealed off, and its explosive’s licence withdrawn.

The company has also been blacklisted.

Six people –  a store officer and five security operatives – have been arrested and are being interrogated, Gen. Monguno said.

He added: “Right now investigations have been conducted and I can assure you they are deeply culpable and appropriate actions will be taken. Let me once again reiterate that  any individual or company that operates outside the confines of legitimacy and legality will find himself or itself to blame.  I also want to add that the government  of the day will not listen to any influence peddler  in the society on behalf of any company that decides to sabotage national security.”

Further explaining the development, Minister of Solid Minerals Development Dr Kayode Fayemi, in a statement by his media aide, Yinka Oyebode, said: “This is in addition to the blacklisting of the company and withdrawal of its explosive licences.

“The development is sequel to investigations by the office of the National Security Adviser (NSA), which revealed that the company was involved in illegal diversion of about 9,000 kg of Nitro-glycerine explosives and 16,420 pieces of electrical detonators from its magazines between 2015 and 2016.”

The minister warned of manufacturers, importers, sellers and end users of explosives in the country  to desist from unprofessional sale, procurement, storage and use of explosives in line with the provisions of the Explosives Act of 1964 , the Explosives Regulations of 1967 and other extant policy directives.

The NSA also accused two companies – Notore Chemical Industry Limited and Indorama Eleme Fertiliser and Chemicals – which were granted the exclusive rights to manufacture fertiliser for local consumption, of exporting the bulk of their products.

The firms granted the licence after the Federal Government banned the importation of fertilisers following discovery that certain grades of fertilisers were being used to manufacture the Improvised Explosive Devices (IED) employed by terrorists.

 Gen. Monguno said the ONSA and the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development also facilitated necessary importation of raw materials and ensured secured distribution networks with the objective of solving a national security problem and boosting local production of the product thereby boosting the economy.

He said the cumulative annual production of the two companies is estimated at 2.05 million metric tons while the estimated national consumption rate is 1.1 million metric tons leaving the companies with a cumulative export value of about 47 percent.

Gen. Monguno said: “However, the Office of the National Security Adviser has observed with total dismay, some unpatriotic act and abuse of the goodwill of the government. Reports of these companies have indicated that about 71 per cent of the 2.05 million metric tons cumulative annual production is being exported to the detriment of our national economy.

“This has resulted in a spike in the price of urea-based fertilisers in Nigeria with obvious implications on food security in the country.

“In view of the foregoing, I wish to categorically state that the government will continue to adhere to the rule of law, however, it must be noted that the rule of law is not akin to anarchy. Accordingly, this office will not hesitate to close and withdraw the operating licence of any company that exports products without first meeting local consumption.  This office and the Ministry will work to put in place measures to assess  production and determine exportable quantity by the respective companies.”

Monguno, who was joined by Minister of State for Agriculture, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri  and other top officials of the ONSA, noted that due to the unpatriotic acts of the companies,  local farmers are suffering lack of fertilisers.

Credit: TheNation

Millions Of Illegal Weapons Smuggled Into Nigeria – UN

The UN says it estimates there are more than 350 million illegal light weapons in Nigeria.

The UN Regional Centre for Peace and Disarmament in Africa said this accounted for 70% of illicit small arms in West Africa.

Some of the weapons are said to have originated in Mali and Libya, where there are ongoing conflicts.  The UN said the presence of so many illegal arms in the country threatened its existence.

At the moment the country is affected by three separate conflicts – an Islamist insurgency in the north-east, militancy in the oil-rich Niger Delta, and clashes between nomads and farmers.

5000 OPC Members Armed For War Against Ijaw Militants

5000 members of the Reformed Oodua People’s Congress (ROPC) have converged in Ogun state to confront militants who have been causing havoc in the Arepo and Imushin communities.

Punch reports that the members of the group arrived the state in 100 buses, looking ready for battle.

Eyewitnesses say the OPC members, who came from Lagos and other parts of Ogun, carried all manner of charms and weapons.

A source who spoke to newsmen also said They were over 5,000 and they filled the whole community. They carried all kinds of charms and a few of them even carried placards, protesting militant’s invasion of the South-West.

“They said they were ready to enter into the creeks to face the militants and kill them and all they needed was the permission of the traditional ruler. Some of them said they could transform to snakes and lions, once they get into the creeks.

“The traditional ruler, after thanking them for their concern, asked them to leave because he had not received authority from higher authorities to allow them fight the militants. He urged them to get approval from the government before doing anything in the community.

The President of the group, Dare Adesope, also said “On July 19, we issued a 14-day ultimatum to the militants to end their activities in the South-West and we said if they didn’t leave, we will challenge them and defend our people. That ultimatum elapsed yesterday (Monday).

The recent military action against the militants might have been influenced by our ultimatum, because prior to the release, the Federal Government didn’t do anything.

“We decided to go to the community in 107 buses and some cars, to show that the Reformed OPC is still on the ground and our aim is to protect the lives and property of everyone that is residing within our area of jurisdiction.

“Our silence all this while is not an act of cowardice. It is because we believe in dialogue before action. It is wrong for anyone to be kidnapping, raping, robbing and killing our people.

“We say no to that and we don’t want anything like that again in Yoruba land. After today, if we hear anything again in the area, we know what to do.

A combined team of security forces bombarded the hideouts of the militants in the creeks of Arepo in Ogun state.

“We’re Ready To Surrender” – Ijaw Militants in Lagos, Ogun States.

Just few days after Ijaw Youth Council claimed that the guys attacking, looting communities in parts of Lagos and Ogun states were not from Ijaw, some revelations are beginning to play out.
Militants and pipeline vandals within Arepo have indicated their commitment to surrender their arms to the Federal Govern­ment.

 

Leader of the Ijaw mili­tant group – Forest Soldiers and Adaka Boro Last Born – General Agbala, told The Sun in a private telephone inter­view that they are agitators and not criminals.
The Army, Air Force and the Navy, have been giving them the heat through aerial bom­bardment to rid the Arepo area of crim­inal elements.

 

The operation which also involve the Police, the De­partment of State Services (DSS) and the Nigeria Se­curity and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has re­corded substantial success.

 

The militants leader, Agbala who spoke partly in pidgin English in the wake of the bombardment of the areas, said he has been doing his best to rid the area of criminal elements, saying that kid­napping has never been in his line. He said a visit to Ogun State would re­veal that he had in the past handed over a man named Ototo to the police, Bishibi­shi and other boys.

 

Agbala said, “something like kidnap­ping, armed robbery, I am not involved. But na some bad people dey spoil my name up and down. Na im make me dey vex.”
Speaking on their interaction with the government delegation that visited their camps, Agbala said the visit took place last year and he was the one who received the officials.

 

Agbala said they told the government delegation that they had no problem with anyone, even as he stated that they had since been waiting for the implementation of the ne­gotiation before the ongo­ing crisis started. On how to end the pipeline vandalism, Agbala said the government del­egation requested they stop vandalizing pipelines so that they would be given contract to secure the pipe­lines, some would be sent to school, while others would engage in vocational training.

 

Asked to distinguish between vandals and mili­tants, particularly where his group belong to, Agbala said even though they are in Ogun and Lagos states, they are of Ijaw origin.
Corroborating Agbala’s submission, the General Secretary of Forest Soldiers and Adaka Boro Last Born, Honourable Omomoh, said they have always been as­sisting government in rid­ding the areas of criminal elements, saying they made some arrests in the past which the State Anti Rob­bery Squad (SARS) in Ogun State can testify to.
“We are still waiting for them. We are always loyal to the government, but the casualties recorded are too high,” Omomoh declared.

 

Meanwhile, the Joint Force, Operation Delta Safe (ODS), has allayed the fears of people in the Niger Delta region over any possible break of law and order.

 

The Commander of the ODS, Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie who spoke in Yena­goa, Bayelsa State vowed that the military would not abdicate its responsibilities to protect the territorial in­tegrity, lives and property in the region.
While dismissing threats by those he stated have no social base, he assured that ODS with its multi agency com­position is capable of nip­ping any security situation in the bud.

“The North Wants To Islamize Niger Delta”, Militant Group Cries Out.

A militant group, Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders, NDRC, Monday, alleged that there was an Islamic agenda by northerners to conquer and enslave the people of Niger Delta because of their oil.

 

The group in a statement by the spokesperson W O I Izon-Ebi, said: “Their first step is to use few of our greedy political elites. The second plan is to frame distinguished leaders with frivolous charges. The third one is to incite crisis for the military to come into the Niger Delta with the sole purpose to kill all the vibrant and brave youths of the region that are mouth piece and leaders of tomorrow.”

 

It asserted: “To further expose their Islamic agenda to own our oil and enslave us, they have gone further to absorb more than 250,000 civilian JTF into the Nigerian Army and even boasting to absorb more into the military and paramilitary force.”

 

“As if that is not enough, they are offering the Boko Haram Amnesty with the sole aim to invade the Niger Delta in the name of fighting militants. The drafting of Special Forces to the Niger Delta is not a threat to the people Niger Delta, because before this time we have known the Islamisation plot of recruiting Saudi Mercenaries, absorbing civilian JTF, and recruiting of Boko Haram members to form a special force to invade the Niger Delta,” NDRC said.

 

It added: ”Niger Deltans have suffered in the hands of the Nigerian government through their divide and rule tactics and few criminal minded elites to impoverish the people. This is why from 1957 when oil was discovered in commercial quantity in Oloibiri till date, there is nothing to show as an oil producing region. All we see is suffering, hunger, poverty, gas flaring, and degradation.”

 

“Now, their ploy is to cause disunity in the Niger Delta in order to go on with their exploration and exploitation. All what we see now in the Niger delta is disunity, witch-hunting, tribal sentiment, poverty, which they are using in order to achieve their purpose. These things are done deliberately to disorganize the people of the Niger Delta to enable them continue with oil exploration.

 

“Even in political appointments, they try to use it to create disunity among the people. Example, in the NDDC, if truly they meant well for the region, there will not be any need for agitation, an Isoko man is from Delta state, why are the Itsekiri people protesting, in Ondo, the same thing, Akwa Ibom the same thing, Abia the same thing,” the group stated.

NDRC declared: “They are now using our resources to acquire weapons and fighters to enslave us in this 21st century. We are very sad with our brothers that use Niger Delta struggle to enrich themselves and at the same time being used by the northerners to achieve their aim of exploiting the oil.”

 

It noted: “They feel that they have settled some few charlatans and criminals that call themselves ex-militants, using them to hijack the struggle that our distinguished sons and fathers stood for. Isaac Adaka Boro never took sides against his people or enriched himself, Ken Saro-Wiwa laid his life for this same course, Government Epkomupolo aka Tompolo, the prince of Ijaw deity (Egbesu), initiated the one and only Nigerian Maritime University, NMU.”

 

Commending Ijaw elders and leaders for standing on the truth, last weekend, in Warri, the group said: “The spirit and courage, fearlessness, bravery is motivating us to put a stop to this planned Islamic agenda against the Niger Delta. Just as we are asking our fathers why did allow their age mates from the north to put Niger Delta in this pathetic condition, we shall not allow our children to ask us the same question.”

 

It said: “If the government is truly sincere about solving the Niger Delta crisis, they should discuss with our distinguished elders. The proposed release of Henry Okah, Charles Okah, and Nnamdi Kanu and others is a well come development to build the dialogue process.”

 

NDRC, however, opposed the idea of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND leading the dialogue between militants and government, saying: “MEND should stop embarrassing our distinguished leaders from the region because Niger Deltans knows that MEND has been disbanded, granted amnesty and settled with pipeline contract.”

 

“When we checked Government Tompolo, GOC, Empkomupolo is declared wanted by the EFCC, Alhaji Asari is in support of the cause, Ateke Tom is peacefully in his community with his philanthropic gesture and spirit to see the well-being of his people earning the title of a first class chief in his kingdom. Henry Okah is in jail, Charles Okah is in jail. So who is speaking for MEND now?

 

“Can they honorably unmask themselves, if they are truly fighting for the well-being of the region, or is it a ploy to connive with the federal government to eliminate our bravest youths? It said.

Militants Threaten To Declare Niger Delta Republic Today, Military On High Alert

Ijaw Militant group, the Adaka Boro Avengers (ABA), have threatened to declare the independent Republic of Niger Delta today August 1st. The group in a statement released last week, said after holding consultation with other militant groups in the region, they have concluded arrangements to declare the Niger Delta region as an independent republic from today August 1.

The group in the statement signed by its spokesperson, Edmos Ayayeibo, ordered people from other regions who are residing in Niger Delta to vacate their homes before today

“If they refuse to heed to our warning, we will use so many as example in the Niger Delta region on the due date.”

Reacting to the threat, the Nigerian military through the Joint Task Force Commander in the Niger Delta, codenamed Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, dismissed the threat of the group, saying the military would not fail to fulfill their responsibility to protect lives, property and the territorial integrity of the country. He asked the people of the region to go about their normal duties.

“This is to reassure the good people of the Niger Delta that Operation Delta Safe is firmly on the ground to protect them” he said.

Ijaw Militants Hit As Heavy Military Bombardment Begins At Arepo Creeks, Other Parts of Lagos.

There was pandemonium on Thursday in the Arepo area of Ogun State and some part of Lagos State after the military bombarded the base of suspected militants in the states.

 

The PUNCH learnt that scores of militants were reportedly killed in the joint military operation which lasted for more than one hour.

 

A source said the military attacked Fatola, the base of the militants, adding that houses around the area were shaken by the impact of bomb explosions on the Ijaw militants.

 

He said, “There has been a lot of commotion. The Nigerian Air Force bombarded Fatola, in Arepo, which is the base of the militants. They are shelling the place with fighter jets. Some soldiers also surrounded the area to make sure that if any of the militants should run out, they would be gunned down.”

 

A resident said people in the area had started fleeing their homes due to the bombardment.

 

Another resident in the Imushin area of Ogun State told our correspondent that two aircrafts were involved in the operation, adding that only one base of the militants was attacked.

 

He said, “An aircraft had actually been surveying the creek for the past three days. But a second one joined this evening around 6pm. All we heard was a sudden bomb blast released from the second aircraft. But it appeared that some of the militants had fled into the bush. There are four major bases of the militants in the creek and they are led by two men- OC and Agbala. If the military can get these two people, then they would have succeeded in clipping the wings of the militants.”

 

A community leader, who claimed to have spoken with one of the officers, said, “The military officer said residents should not panic because it was a military exercise. I also gathered that the casualty figure was high and that a lot of the militants had been killed.”

 

The Director, Defence Information, Brig. Gen. Rabe Abubakar, confirmed the operation, saying it involved the army and the navy.

 

He said, “The military only conducts its routine operation for the purpose of denying the vandals and other criminal elements from causing terror in the area. The operation, codenamed, Operation Awatse, was initiated by the defence headquarters to dominate the area with a view to flushing out all manners of criminals including militants and saboteurs. The operation involved the joint forces of the navy and army and it has been successful.”

 

The Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State, SP Dolapo Badmos, said the police were part of the operation.

 

She said, “The Nigerian military and policemen from the Lagos and Ogun commands are part of the operation. We are sweeping through the waterways where we share boundaries to end the activities of the militants. It is a continuous exercise and we cannot tell the number of casualties.”

 

The acting Police spokesperson, ASP Abimbola Oyeyemi, promised to call back our correspondent, but he had yet to do so as of press time.

 

Credit: The Punch

“Don’t Use Military Action Against Niger Delta Avengers” – Governor Seriake Dickson

The governor of Bayelsa state, Seriake Dickson has revealed that he advised President Muhammadu Buhari not to employ any military operation against Niger Delta Avengers.

 

Addressing state house correspondents after meeting President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja, Dickson said dialogue has a key role to play in restoring peace to the region.

 

He said: “The military solutions as I have always maintained is not the right option. We are hopeful that the ongoing discussions will yield the desired result,” he said.

 

“I have always been in support of negotiations, of dialogue as the sustainable way forward. Dialogue will bring out the issues and then we will all unite around these common issues to move our country forward.

 

“For us who are products of political system who are at this level, we have a duty to mobilise communal and local leadership, we have a duty to support the work of intelligence and security agencies are doing, we have a duty to ensure that issues are better appreciated and that we fill the communication gap.

 

“And where there are issues those issues need be addressed and is also our duty to network like I’m doing to ensure that problems that are identified as the route cause of some of these challenges are looked into.”

FG Should Extend Amnesty Till 2019 For Sake Of Peace – Ex-militants

Former Niger Delta militant leaders have requested the Federal Government to extend the terminal date of the Presidential Amnesty Programme in the region to 2019.

 

The ex-militants, under the aegis of Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative, made the request at a news conference in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital, on Tuesday.

 

The National President, LPCDI, ‘General’ Reuben Wilson, (a.k.a Pastor Reuben) argued that the extension of the programme would provide an ample time for the beneficiaries of the programme studying abroad to conclude their various educational activities.

 

He also said such a gesture would make time for those who had yet to undergo their various skills acquisition training to commence and conclude before the expiration of the programme.

 

He also appealed to those he described as “greedy and selfish politicians” to give the Chairman of PAP, Brig. Gen. Paul Boroh (retd.), a breathing space to continue with the good and selfless work being done by him as the Amnesty boss.

 

Wilson said, “We would like to commend President Muhammadu Buhari for extending the Amnesty programme to 2017. We are also appealing to the Federal Government that the terminal date be extended to 2019 to give enough time for the beneficiaries of the programme studying abroad to conclude their various educational programmes. “This will also make time for those who have yet to undergo their various skills acquisition to commence and conclude same before the expiration of the programme.

 

He also begged Buhari to extend an olive branch to some of their brothers who were still in the creeks and were willing to embrace the programme.

 

Wilson condemned the pipeline bombings in Delta and Bayelsa states, advising all concerned to stop such dastardly acts as it would only bring the region back to its dark days and ultimately hinder any form of development in the area.

He added, We call on all our Niger Delta brothers and sisters to be more patient with President Buhari as he needs more time to carry out his positive developments for the region. As we all know, this can only be achieved in an atmosphere of peace.”

 

We hereby encourage militants to embrace peace as it is the most important ingredient for sustainable development. We are also still appealing to Presidency to still take a critical look at the issues of late salary payments or monthly stipends to the amnesty beneficiaries.”

 

The delay of these payments is working against the peace we are preaching because these ‘boys’ tend to go into criminality in order to make ends meet due to non-payment of their stipends.

 

He expressed total support for the Amnesty boss (Boroh), saying the programme had indeed touched a lot of lives in the region from its inception.

 

He noted, “We are here to declare our total support for him (Boroh). A lot of our leaders, particularly one of our own, Victor Ebikabowei Ben, popularly known as Boyloaf, have stood firmly by the appointment of Boroh.”

 

The entire leaders under the LCPDI with its nine coordinators, representing leaders from the nine Niger Delta states, are strongly in support of Boroh. The Amnesty boss has in such a little time piloted the affairs of the programme; he has carried on without fear or favour.

 

We believe that given the right atmosphere and time, he will direct the programme to the benefit of all and for the achievement of the development and lasting peace in the Niger Delta region.”

 

Just recently, the Amnesty programme, under the leadership of Boroh, partnered with the Bio-Resource Centre in Odi to train 100 ex-agitators on agriculture. This is indeed a step in the right direction with the new trend of diversification of the economy.”

Militants Bomb Shell Pipeline In Delta

Daring militants monday blasted an oil pipeline belonging to the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Batan community in Warri South West Local Government area of Delta State.

Security sources said that the incident occurred at SPDC Camp Five at about 1 a.m. with a huge fire enveloping the site of the attack.

“Suspected militants attacked the SPDC pipeline in Batan at about 1 a.m. with dynamites. As I am speaking, the place is engulfed with fire but efforts are being made to put it off,” one security source said.

Another community source confirmed the incident, stating that they heard a huge explosion around midnight only to discover it was a pipeline belonging to Shell that had been blasted.

He said: “We heard a huge explosion when we were sleeping. We rushed out and found that the Shell pipeline was on fire. We are not sure whether it was militants that caused it or not.”

The Niger Delta Advengers (NDA), the militant group that has claimed responsibility for the destruction of oil facilities in the Niger Delta, was yet to claim responsibility at the time of filing this report.

Instead, the group disclaimed reports of a meeting between itself and the Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung, at Oporoza in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
Reacting to the minister’s claim that he met with the Avengers at the weekend, the militant group said he must have been duped by fraudsters since it did not send any representatives to “meet with a common minister”.

“The Minister of Youths and Sports, Solomon Dalung narrated how he met with some self claimed Niger Delta Avengers in Oporoza, Gbaramatu Kingdom. We are here to let the general public know that Niger Delta fraudsters have defrauded the minister.

“Niger Delta Avengers can’t stoop so low to send representatives to meet with a common Minister of Youths and Sports that doesn’t know his work.

“Let us make this clear, any meeting with Niger Delta Avengers that the international community is not part of as witness, we will not be part of any such dialogue,” it said in a press release signed by its spokesperson, Mudoch Agbinibo.

Credit: Thisday

Suspected Militants Blow Up Agip Pipelines In Bayelsa

Suspected militants in the early hours of Friday blew up the Tebidaba-Brass Nigeria Agip Oil Company, NAOC pipeline. Also affected are the Goulubokiri Manifold and Lasukugbene pipeline.

Bayelsa state Commandant of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps,NSCDC, Desmond Agu, who confirmed the incident said men of the Command on surveillance exchanged gun fire with the vandals.

Agu said: “Reports from the swamp area indicates that last night(early hours of this morning) a gang of heavily armed youths with two double 200hp speedboats used explosives to blast three different points on the Tebidaba-Brass NAOC pipeline.”

Credit: vanguardngr

FG To Counter Illegal Radio Broadcast By Boko Haram, Militants

The Federal Government will now deploy all the four International Radio Monitoring Stations (IRMS) across the country to counter “illegal radio broadcast” by Boko Haram, the Niger Delta Avengers and the Indigenous People of Bi­afra (IPOB), the Minister of Communications, Adebayo Shittu, has said.

The IRMS facilities are located in Azare in Bauchi State, Gusau in Zamfara State, Ipaja in Lagos State and Ogoja in Cross River State.

Shittu in a statement Wednesday by his media aide, Victor Oluwadamilare, said the FG is in the process of rehabilitating the moribund IRMS and would thereafter deploy them to counter any radio or internet broadcast capable of undermining the country’s national security.

He said the IRMS are “strategically located in various parts of the country as security surveillance to monitor radio broadcast activities, so as to guide against illegal use of the radio frequency airspace for unauthorized broadcast by proscribed groups, political and ethnic motivated dissidents.”

He further said: “The Federal Ministry of Communications has adequately appropriated for rehabilitation works on the IRMS facilities across the country in the 2016 Federal Government budget and has consequently warned against any illegal occupation and acquisition of any fraction of land on which these infrastructures are located.”

Credit: DailyTrust

Fresh Militants’ Attack In Ikorodu Communities

Gunmen suspected to be militants were said to have invaded Igbolomu and Ishawo areas in Ikorodu Local Government Area of Lagos State.

According to eyewitnesses who escaped from one of the invaded areas, said the gunmen from the Niger Delta came through water channel since yesterday and started shooting sporadically.

Credit: Vanguard

Militants Threaten To Resume Bombing As New Group Emerges

Niger Delta militants have threatened to re­sume hostilities and have alleged that the two weeks ceasefire agree­ment elapsed without any commitment on the part of the Federal Gov­ernment.

The fighters said gov­ernment officials are more interested in grand­standing rather than initiating dialogue with them.

In a statement entitled: ‘If you make the peace­ful change that we seek impossible, we will make violent change possible’, a group called Ultimate Warriors of the Niger Delta said if the situation continued that way, mas­sive attacks on oil assets will commence in the days ahead.

“Our patience is run­ning out and we have decided to let the world know our grievances pure and plain again. We are sounding this as a last warning before the whirl­wind gets down.

“The tsunami that will descend in coming days would be severe for the current government to handle. The operations that would follow these plans are strategic and all operations would be codi­fied as our goals have been codified in a one line mis­sion statement.

“The Federal Govern­ment cannot continue to give us crumbs. We own the oil, we own the wealth, we will no longer accept outsider’s controlling oil blocs that are in our land. We want 60 percent of it for our people because we own the resources that sustain the country,” Sibiri Taiowoh, spokesman of the group said in a statement.

Also, former militant leaders in Bayelsa State have vowed to stop the spread of bombing of oil installations in the state by criminal elements.

Warning members of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), the former mili­tant leaders said they will resist attack on oil instal­lations in the state. The former militants leaders commended the Minister of State for Petroleum Re­sources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and the state government for their commitment to bringing sustainable peace in the state and the Niger Delta region.

Meanwhile, the De­fence Headquarters has scrapped the Joint Force Operation Pulo Shield and immediately replaced it with Opera­tion Delta Safe. A state­ment by acting Director of Defence Information, Brigadier General Rabe Abubakar said the change was necessary in the face of current security chal­lenges.

Credit: Sun

Army Debunks Militants Allegation On Plot To Topple Buhari’s Govt

Authorities of the Nigerian Army have said allegation by a militant group claiming that a coup plot to remove the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari were the handiwork of mischief makers since there was nothing like that in the offing.

A statement titled ‘Warning to Mischief Makers; Nobody is Planning Any Coup’ and signed by Col Sani Usman said, “The attention of the Nigerian Army has been drawn to another campaign of calumny and distraction by faceless criminal gang of economic saboteurs that hide under the aegis of Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF) alleging that some officers of the Nigerian Army approached them for support to overthrow our duly elected present democratic government.

“This is baseless and most unfortunate allegation that existed in the warped minds of the originators of such weighty allegation. The Nigerian Army wish to state that this is not true and hereby distanced itself from this weighty allegation.

“We also see this speculation as a dangerous distraction to our effort in fighting insurgency and other criminal elements in the country.

“The Nigerian Army would like to send a strong and an unequivocal warning to those speculating a coup by the Nigerian Army (NA) against the Government to desist forthwith. “We would like state in clear terms that that we are a product of democracy and a focused professional institution and would have nothing to do with such abomination and heinous crime.

“We wish to state further that the NA is the greatest beneficiary of democracy and therefore cannot ever contemplate any anti-democratic misadventure, certainly not under the command of the present Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Yusufu Buratai.

“Rather, we see this type of dangerous speculation as a declaration of war to destabilize the present government by these unscrupulous elements.

“The Nigerian Army is investigating those behind the dangerous insinuation in order to unravel the real motive behind it.

“We would like to reiterate our unalloyed loyalty to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and defence of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

“We would also like to reaffirm our unconditional support and obedience to civil authority. “We wish to further assure Nigerians and indeed all peace loving people that the Nigerian Army and indeed its personnel will never be involved in such terrible misadventure.

“We wish to further add that no matter how long it takes, we would track and find out those behind these insinuations and bring them to justice.

Credit: Vanguard

 

FG, Niger Delta Militants Agree To 30-day Ceasefire

The federal government and militant groups in the Niger Delta, including the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), which has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on oil and gas installations in recent months, have agreed to a 30-day truce to give President Muhammadu Buhari time to come up with a comprehensive plan for the oil-rich region, investigations reveal.

The “30 days of quiet” was said to have been agreed upon last week by a federal government team led by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, and representatives of the militant groups, community leaders and the state governments.

Last week, Kachikwu had led a government delegation to different camps in Bayelsa and Delta States, including visiting the temporary site of the Maritime University at Okerenkoko, Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State, in a bid to reach out to representatives of the militant groups to get them to stop its attacks on oil and gas facilities.

The activities of the militants have halved Nigeria’s oil production to some 1.4 million barrels per day, impacted negatively on power supply in the country and the country’s oil earnings.

According to a source who opened up on the 30-day period of truce, Kachikwu was said to have reached out to the militants through back channels and pleaded for some time for the Buhari administration to come up with a comprehensive Niger Delta plan that would address most of their demands.

The militant groups, the source said, accepted Kachikwu’s plea, adding that since the agreement was reached there had been no attacks on oil and gas installations in the oil-rich region.

“You would have noticed that there have been no bombings of oil assets in recent days. This is the fall out of the 30 days of quiet reached with the minister and his team.

“This will give the president time to come up with a comprehensive plan for the Niger Delta,” the source said.

He also revealed that some of the demands made by the militants were for greater control of the hydrocarbon resources in their communities, improved funding for the Amnesty Programme, clean-up of oil producing communities in the Niger Delta that had been devastated by oil exploration activities, and funding for the Maritime University, among others.

Credit: Thisday

Nigeria Navy Arrests Militants Behind NNPC And Chevron Facilities Attacks

 A militant kingpin who is best described as the coordinator of recent attacks on NNPC and Chevron oil facilities in the region has been arrested by the Nigerian Navy who said it has recorded a major feat in the ongoing military onslaught against Niger Delta militants and pipeline vandals.Briefing journalists while parading the suspects at the Naval Base Warri on Tuesday,Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta, Commodore Riami Muhammed, said his men also arrested another militant leader who spearheaded last week’s attack on Shell Petroleum Development Company’s 48inch crude pipeline in Forcados.

It was gathered that the militants’ coordinator, whose name was not disclosed for security reasons, also illegally operates about 35 abandoned oil well heads and crude oil pipelinesin Okpoko and
Obodo creeks in Warri South West Local Government Area of the state.

Commodore Mohammed said the suspects werearrested in collaboration with other security agencies, saying that the arrest was capable of reducing or ending attacks by the rampaging militants.Two suspectThe elated NNS Delta boss said, “Today, I’m pleased to announce that after several weeks of persistent efforts, the Nigerian navy in collaboration with other security agencies has arrested the main coordinator of the attacks on the NNPC and Chevron oil and gas facilities that we have witnessed since May 4, 2016, with the attack on Chevron Okan Valve platform offshore Escravos.“You are aware of the recent series of attacks onoil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta and in Delta State for which some groups/persons have claimed responsibilities.

The Nigerian Navyand other security agencies have been doing their best to curtail these attacks.”He noted that his men were not just after members of the Niger Delta Avengers but everyone suspected to be responsible for the recent attacks on oil facilities in the region.Mohammed said, “It’s important to mention that the suspect is also deeply involved in pipeline vandalism and stealing crude oil. He steals crude oil from about 35 abandoned oil well heads.

The Nigerian Navy believes with the arrest of this suspect, the attacks on Chevron/NNPC facilities will abate.”Two suspectOn the arrest of the suspect behind last week attack on 48-inch Forcados crude line, Mohammed said “He has provided useful information that will assist NNS Delta to arrest other culprits.”While commending the Delta State government for her support, he warned criminal elements in the Niger Delta to desist as Nigerian military were very committed towards flushing out their activities from the region.Two of the suspected militant’s kingpins were shaded from journalists for security reasons while several tools and ammunition used for the attacks were displayed.

Source; Punch

Militants Kill Two Soldiers, 5 Others In Boat House Attack

Militants have attacked a military house boat at Ejere Junction, a creek in Warri South council area of Delta State, killing seven people, including two soldiers.

The killings have heightened the tension in the oil-rich Niger Delta where oil facilities have been attacked. Nigeria’s output has been badly affected.

It was gathered that five boats, loaded with heavily armed insurgents, stormed an isolated boat house, located inside the creek around Omadino, an Itsekiri community, at about 8:00pm and opened fire on the occupants, killing all those onboard, except a civilian, who reportedly died on the way to the hospital.

There was no claim of responsibility for the Wednesday attack.

A community source said the attack happened at about 8:00pm. He said all occupants of the boat, whom he thought to be soldiers, were killed.

“An army security house boat was attacked and all the security men inside were killed last night at Omadino, by pipeline, here. This happened around 8 in the evening,” he said.

Another source, from one of the military formations in Warri said those in the house boat were not all soldiers. There were civilians, who rendered various types of services aboard.

A military source from Warri, who confirmed the development, told said that two soldiers and five civilians died in the attack. He said most of the men stationed at the house boat had gone on pipeline patrol when the attackers came.

According to the source, although outnumbered by the assailants, the soldiers who were left on the boat when the attackers came gave their best, ensuring that the assailants did not leave without a bloody nose.

He said: “The report is true. They came in five speed boats. They were many and, unfortunately, when they got there, some of the soldiers were on pipelines patrol. When the attackers got there, the man on sentry did his best, but, unfortunately, because of their number they opened fire to kill the civilians inside the house boat. There were four civilians and two soldiers, making six.

“The seventh person, who happened to be a civilian, was rushed to Oghara (the Delta State University Teaching Hospital). Getting to Oghara, they found out that the hospital was on strike. Before he could be rushed back to Warri, his situation had deteriorated. You know the distance between Warri and Oghara; that was how he gave up the ghost.

“Our people also got some of them down, but as they wouldn’t like to leave any of their casualties behind, we can’t ascertain, but the soldiers tried their best in reducing their number”, the source said.

The Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 4 Brigade of the Nigerian Army in Benin, Captain Jonah Unuakhalu, in a statement, said two soldiers were killed, one injured, another one missing and four civilians rendering services on the house boat, were also killed.

“At about 5:50pm on 1 June 2016, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) Houseboat deployed at Ejere junction in Warri South Local Government Area was attacked by suspected armed militants group. The suspected militants approached the Houseboat in five (5) speed boats mounted with 250 horse power engines and disguised as normal commuters. During the deliberate attack, two soldiers were killed, one wounded, one soldier missing while four civilian officials attached to the house boat were shot dead. The attack occurred when other members of the troops were on pipeline patrol.

“The Brigade condemns the attack on our personnel carrying out their constitutional duties and other innocent employee. The Brigade will not be deterred by such dastardly acts, but will remain resolute in discharging its constitutional duties. Furthermore, those who carried out the criminal acts will surely be sought, apprehended and brought to justice,” the army spokesman said.

At the Warri Central Hospital, the Public Relations Officer (PRO), Mrs. Success Obere, confirmed that the bodies of some military men and civilians were brought to the morgue, but could not give the exact number.

It was, however confirmed that three soldiers and four civilians were deposited at the morgue.

Credit: Nation

Troops Recover Viagra, Other Sex Drugs From Killed Boko Haram Militants

The Nigerian Army on Friday said its troops on Thursday night ambushed and killed some fleeing Boko Haram terrorists from the Sambisa forest.

A statement issued by the acting Director of Army Public Relations, Sani Usman, said the terrorists were ambushed at their crossing point along Maiduguri-Bulabulin-Damboa road.

It quoted Mr. Usman as saying the troops recovered several items, including arms and ammunition from the terrorists who were fleeing to Alagarno general area.

“Troops of 81 Battalion and 251 Task Force Battalion, both of 25 Task Force Brigade, staged a deliberate ambush against Boko Haram logistics elements on motorcycles and bicycles.

“The elements were crossing from Sambisa forest to Alagarno general area around Nyaleri yesterday night.

“During the operation, the troops killed two Boko Haram terrorists, wounded several others and recovered some arms, ammunitions and other items.

“Specifically, they recovered one AK-47 Assault rifle, one hand grenade, four AK-47 magazines loaded with ammunition,” the statement said.

He said the troops also recovered assorted food items, sex enhancing drugs such as Viagra, foot wears and bathroom slippers.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Oil Facilities Attacks: Tompolo Calls On Militants To Ceasefire

The ex-militants leader, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo), yesterday called on the new militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, to put an end to its attacks on oil facilities, saying it would not do the nation any good, especially at this critical period of the country’s economy.

In a statement titled: ‘A Call to the Niger Delta Avengers to give Peace a Chance in the Niger Delta Region,’’ which he personally signed, the Ibe-ebidouwei of the Ijaw nation denied any involvement in the recent attacks.

According to him, ‘’You members of the Niger Delta Avengers group are aware that some mischievous persons have continued to point accusing fingers at me that I am either behind you or directly carrying out the destruction of oil pipelines across the Niger Delta region, therefore I should be arrested by the Nigerian military.

“Sadly, the military had bought this ethnic induced and wicked accusation without a single proof to show that I am truly behind you people. On the other hand, some have suggested that you may be part of the multitude of persons I had catered for, from economically empowering to payment of school fees, hospital bills, and house rents and so on.

“And that as I am out of circulation as a result of my travails in the hands of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), you might be tempted to strike out on your own for sheer survival.’’

Maintaining that he knows nothing about the new militant group and the destruction of crude oil facilities in the Niger Delta region, Tompolo said he had made it clear in many occasions that the issue he has with the EFFC would not make him resort to violence and bombing of oil pipelines.

He added that his team of lawyers had already challenged the defective process of legal service on him at the Court of Appeal.

Credit: Thisday

Niger To Hand Over Scores Of Boko Haram Militants To ICC- President Issoufou

The Niger Government has arrested scores of Boko Haram militants and will hand them over to the International Criminal Court (ICC) for trial, President Mahamadou Issoufou, has said.

This is contained in a document from the World Humanitarian Summit, ongoing in Istanbul, Turkey, made available to reporters in New York.

The document said Mr. Issoufou made this known on Tuesday during a high-level leaders’ round table titled “Uphold the Norms that Safeguard Humanity”.

He said the Nigerien government would ensure the militants are tried by the ICC.

“This is something that all countries should do,” he said.

The best way to protect civilians, he added, was to ratify humanitarian conventions.

“Political, military and administrative authorities must be aware of pledges made by Governments and of the sanctions provided for under those conventions,” he said.

Mr. Issoufou added that all countries must take on commitments to respect international humanitarian law and human rights instruments, as well as guarantee that populations in need received humanitarian aid.

Credit: PremiumTimes

FG Plans Dialogue With Militants To End Pipeline Vandalism – Lai Mohammed, Kachikwu

The Minister for Information and Culture with the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, Monday, said the Federal Government is considering opening a robust dialogue with the Niger-Delta militants on the need to stop militancy in the oil rich region.

 

The duo who spoke in an interactive session with a coalition of civil societies in Lagos, chaired by Dr. Moses Ilo, founder of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, PFN, stressed that nefarious activities of militants is currently sabotaging efforts being made by the government to revamp the nation’s economy. Mohammed while lamenting the situation said there was no other solution to the issues happening in Niger Delta other than engaging them in meaningful dialogue.

 

According to Kachikwu the government has come to realize that rolling out military tanks against the militants would not solve the problem. “The military barrels cannot stop or solve problem of militancy in the Niger–Delta region. I will have to go back to my brothers, they are our brothers we will go and dialogue with them,” Kachikwu said.

 

He said the continued audit of the country’s daily fuel consumption resulted in weeding out 10 million liters of fake petroleum products that was daily subsidized by the previous administration. Kachikwu lamented that the fund spent in subsidizing the pretentious consumption daily could have been used by the Federal Government to fix the refineries, roads and other basic amenities across the country which would have helped improve the Nigeria’s economy.

 

He said the continued audit of the country’s daily fuel consumption resulted in weeding out 10 million liters of fake petroleum products that was daily subsidized by the previous administration. Kachikwu lamented that the fund spent in subsidizing the pretentious consumption daily could have been used by the Federal Government to fix the refineries, roads and other basic amenities across the country which would have helped improve the Nigeria’s economy.

Credit: Vanguard

 

Suspected Militants Bomb Gas Pipeline In Nigeria

Suspected Niger delta oil rebels have bombed a gas pipeline owned by the Nigeria subsidiary of Italy’s Eni, the latest attack on the country’s oil facilities, a company official said Wednesday.

The militants blew up the Agip gas pipeline at Ogbembiri in the Southern Ijaw area of Bayelsa state on Sunday, leading to an oil production drop equivalent to 1,000 barrels per day, said the official who asked not to be identified.

“I can confirm the sabotage to that pipeline. The production impact is approximately 1,000 bpd of Eni’s equity,” he told AFP.

The pipeline has been repeatedly breached this year amid renewed violence in the region.

Credit: Guardian

Boko Haram Militants “Abduct 16 Women, Girls” In Adamawa

At least 16 female residents of Adamawa State were abducted Wednesday by suspected Boko Haram militants, the police and local officials said.

Police said a team of officers had been deployed to the area to search for the abducted persons.

Those abducted include 14 women and two girls. They were seized in Sabongari Madagali, in Madagali Local Government of the state, a federal lawmaker representing the area said.

Local sources said some of the women were taken from a nearby bush where they went in search of firewood.

Others were seized from a nearby river while fishing.

A source said two women managed to escape the abductors by pretending to have drowned.

“The two women who are in real state of trauma told us that the suspected Boko Haram insurgents had a field day carting away the women when their escorts ran away for their dear lives,” the source said.

He said two vigilante operatives who escorted the women to the bush fled on sighting the heavily armed men, who arrived good numbers.

“They left the women to their own devices as the gunmen were left unchallenged leading to the abduction of the said women,” the source said.

Confirming the incident, the member representing Michika/ Madagali Federal constituency, Adamu Kamale, said, “I just received the shocking news to the effect that about 16 women have been abducted by Boko Haram.

“We have been witnessing pockets of attacks contrary to the belief that security has been fully restored in the area. As a member of NASS( National Assembly), I have been calling for the deployment of security personnel but to no avail as the government seems to have relegated our concerns to the background”.

The Police Public Relations Officer of Adamawa, Othman Abubakar, said on learning about the development, the command deployed officers to the affected area.

He said police were working “round the clock to track down the abducted women and girls”.

Credit: PremiumTimes

‘If You destroy Tompolo, Many Others Like Him Will Arise’ –Niger-Delta Groups Warn FG

Three non-governmental organizations based in the Niger-Delta have advised the Federal Government to thread softly as regards the prosecution of former General Officer Commanding, GOC, of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, better known as Tompolo.

The NGOs namely: Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice, CEPEJ, the Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade, FHRACC, and the Ijaw People Development Initiative, IPDI, in separate interviews with Sunday Tribune warned that should government succeed in destroying Tompolo, others like him will emerge.

Leaders of CEPEJ, FHRACC and IPDI, Comrades Sheriff Mulade, Alaowei Cleric and Austin Ozobo respectively spoke against the backdrop of Friday’s ruling of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos that properties, save one, of the

embattled Tompolo be confiscated in response to his failure to honour court summons.

Comrade Mulade said the Federal Government, represented by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, should be wary of throwing the region into another round of crises in the name of going after Tompolo.

He said since it was obvious that the government was hell-bent in humiliating and breaking the Gbaramatu chief, it should be reminded that “If you destroy Tompolo, many more Tompolos will arise.”

Noting that the court order did not come as a surprise to the Ijaws, “we are, however, skeptical in the Gbaramatu kingdom why EFCC and the courts are after Tompolo as a person. It connotes a lot to us as Ijaws. The claims of the court is that there are illegal transactions. But they should follow due process while they go after Tompolo.”

The CEPEJ leader alleged that Tompolo is being persecuted because of some political elites in the Niger Delta and beyond who believe that his towering influence in the region could jeopardize their political fortunes.

According to him, “Their fear is that Tompolo is becoming too powerful to some political elites in the Niger Delta. With his influence, it will be difficult for some of them to have full support of Niger Deltans to actualise their political dreams.

“But Nigerian politicians should be more afraid of corruption and it’s go sequences than Tompolo. Tompolo is not a warlord, he is a simple man, very approachable.

“He fought for the liberation of Niger Delta. Those persecuting him should have a rethink. He brought development to the Niger Delta and any development in any region is a development in Nigeria,” he disclosed.

Mulade further stated that the former militant leader was ready to appear in court as far as it is devoid of humiliation and persecution, adding that the wanted former militant and Gbaramatu kingdom should not be perceived as confronting the Federal Government.

While commending President Muhammadu Buhari on his success so far in his anti-corruption crusade, he warned him against allowing the Niger Delta region boil again by following the rule of law in its prosecution business.

Also speaking, Comrade Ozobo expressed disappointment at the way the FG is going about prosecuting Tompolo, saying the recent seizure of his assets was an order taken too far.

“We are apprehensive and it is a total disappointment to seize his properties, it will only escalate the matter as the fragile peace in the region is being threatened.

“The order to confiscate Tompolo’s properties is ill-conceived. He has engaged the services of a lawyer to do the needful, noting that he would eventually appear in court. Nobody sees fire and jump into it.

“The order to seize his assets is barbaric, obnoxious and vindictive. It is also highly provocative and will be seen as declaration of war against the Ijaw people.

“We know Buhari is not happy with the Ijaws and some Deltans because of their roles in his election,” Ozobo stated.

On his part, Comrade Cleric, who described the seizure order as having exposed the EFCC’s plans to persecute Tompolo rather than prosecuting him, said: “It’s now clear to us that the anti-corruption agency is only prosecuting political vendetta against Tompolo. There is no law empowering the EFCC to attach another person’s property. This is a backdoor approach sought by the Commission to force the judicial pendulum against its assailants without recourse to the due process of law.

“The Court, as the last hope of the common man, ought not to have granted such unpopular application which end product is calculated to perverse the cause of justice.

“We hold in high esteem the Nigerian judicial system and it is our resolve that the judicial sanctity must always be honoured. However, we are forced to vent our anger on the Court for granting this baseless application which is not only lacking merit but also devoid of legal foundation. This is the height of judicial recklessness,” he added.

Source- Daily Post

Defeating You Won’t Be Tough, Buhari Tells Niger Delta Militants

President Muhammadu Buhari has vowed to deal decisively with the seeming resurgence of oil theft, vandalism of pipelines and insecurity in the Niger Delta.

Declaring that the Nigerian Armed Forces had already dealt “deadly blows” on Boko Haram, Mr. Buhari said the activities of oil thieves and vandals would soon be brought to an end, according to a statement by his spokesperson, Garba Shehu, on Tuesday.

“The oil thieves and abductors are a less problematic target. We will re-organise and deal with them,” he was quoted as saying.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Community Leaders Will Be Held Liable For Attacks On Oil, Gas Facilities – JTF

The Joint Taskforce (JTF), Operation PULO SHIELD (OPS) has warned that community leaders would henceforth be held responsible for any attack on the country’s oil and gas facilities in their domains.

 

 

The JTF Commander, Maj.-Gen. Alani Okunlola, gave the warning on Sunday while inspecting the site of Friday’s pipeline explosion site at Egwa 11, Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta.

 

 

Okunlola, who led other security personnel to the explosion site, also warned that henceforth, extant laws banning the use of outboard engines with 200 horsepower and above would be enforced in the region.

 

 

“This warning is coming as a result of the recent multiple attacks on oil facilities and platforms by suspected militants in the Niger Delta,’’ he said.

 

 

The JTF commander, who described the acts as economic sabotage, assured that the command would apprehend the perpetrators.

 

 

He, therefore, advised them to desist from further destruction of the nation’s oil and gas facilities.

 

 

He called on government officials and community leaders to furnished OPS and other security agencies with information that would facilitate the arrest of the perpetrators of the attacks.

 

 

He said that the acts were criminal in nature and were capable of undermining the security of the country.

 

“There is no way we will fold our hands and allow the criminals to get away with it.

 

It is a massive sabotage and critical to national assets; we must fish out those responsible for it.

 

We don’t have our men on ground in the area that is why they were able to carry out the act,’’ he said.

 

 

He assured Niger Delta residents of JTF’s determination to eliminate illegality from the region.

 

 

The Brigade Commander, Brig.-Gen. Farouk Yahaya and the Commander, 3 Battalion, Igwe Omoke were on the team that visited the explosion site.

 

 

Others are Commander, Nigeria Navy Ship (NNS) Delta, Commodore Raimi Mohammed and other top ranking personnel from the Police and Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps.

 

 

(NAN)

Militants’ Bombing Of Gas Pipeline Is Sabotage- Naval Chief

Chief of Naval staff, Vice Admiral Ibok Ibas on Friday, described the bombing of the gas pipeline supplying gas from Escravos-Warri to Lagos and Abuja, as sabotage saying that Nigerian Navy has consequently being put on alert to contain any other act of sabotage.

the CNS said, “It is sabotage but the Commanders on ground at our Eastern, Central and Logistics Command are on top of the situation. Presently, we have arrested some of the perpetrators of this heinous crime because what they have done is something that affects the whole nation.

“I want to assure you that the Nigerian Navy will do all within its powers in collaboration with other security agencies to ensure more security for oil and gas platforms in the country and those trying to cause carnage and economic sabotage will be made to face the music.

Continuing the CNS said, irrespective of whom these hoodlums are, they have to realize that their own families, communities and the nation at large will bear the brunt of this unpatriotic act. We will spare no one responsible when caught”

Credit: Vanguard

Soldiers Raid Ex-militant’s Home, Allege Gunrunning, Kidnapping

Soldiers have raided the residents of a former militant leader, Chief Solomon Ndigbara (also known as Osama bin Laden), for alleged gun running and kidnapping.

The soldiers were said to have stormed one of Ndigbara’s houses in Bua-Yeghe, Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State from the 2 Brigade base of the Nigerian Army, at about 5.30pm on Sunday.

The soldiers also carried out a similar operation at the home of the ex-Niger Delta agitator in Port Harcourt on Monday.

Earlier, a group of armed policemen had also raided two houses belonging to an ex-militant leader and Caretaker Committee Chairman of Asari-Toru Local Government, Mr. Soboma Jackrich.

Confirming the raid through a statement on Monday, the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, 2 Brigade, Nigerian Army, Captain Eli Lazarus, said Ndigbara’s supporters staged a protest against the raid.

“Men of 2 Brigade Nigerian Army relying on credible intelligence conducted a raid operation on Sunday 11 January 2016 on the residence of one Mr. Solo also known as “General Solo” in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State.

“Mr. Solomon Ndigbara is suspected of gun running and kidnapping activities. Sadly, supporters of the suspect mobilised and staged a protest against the raid.

“During the protest, several property belonging to the suspect and other innocent citizens were destroyed. Investigation into the suspected criminal activities of Mr. Solomon is ongoing.

“The Brigade enjoins all law-abiding citizens in the area to go about their lawful activities as the military will continue to work assiduously to ensure the protection of lives and property of all,” the statement read.

Sources said the whereabouts of Ndigbara’s wife, Kate, and his two younger brothers identified as Bariagan and Gabriel Ndigbara remained unknown after the soldiers’ operation.

It was learnt that the soldiers destroyed two vehicles; a Toyota Sienna and Lexus SUV, even as sources said that some rooms in Ndigbara’s Bua-Nyeghe home were ransacked while some property inside the rooms were damaged.

In his reaction, the Chairman of Gokana Local Government Area, Mr. Austin Sor, described the operation as an onslaught, shocking and unwarranted.

Sor said, “It is pathetic and a war declared on Chief Solomon Ndigbara and the people of Bua-Yeghe. To me, this is a political war.

“Yesterday at about 4pm, I was in the community field watching a final match when some of my community boys came to call me and asked if I am aware that Army has taken over the community.

“When I got there, actually, what I saw were heavily armed soldiers with 10 vans in the compound of Solomon Ndigbara. An attempt to get their attention to know who sent them was seriously resisted. Even the paramount could not access them.”

Ask EFCC To Leave Tompolo Alone, Ex-Militants Beg Buhari

Former Niger Delta militants, weekend, urged President Muhammadu Buhari to prevail on the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, to leave ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, alone and follow the rule of law in its dealings with him. The erstwhile agitators, who met under the auspices of the Transformed Niger Delta Ex-militants Forum, asserted that some persons, who were envious of Tompolo, wrote a petition against him to the EFCC, but advised that the commission in the discharge of its duties should respect the rule of law.

In a communiqué signed by its national president, Meshach Bebenimibo and others, they said, “We appeal to the President as a matter of urgency to instruct the EFCC to follow due process within 1999 Constitution as amended.” At the meeting held in Warri were Prince Bebenimibo, Bayelsa , Edo, Cross River, Rivers, Akwa Ibom and Ondo coordinators of the group, Peter Ayeebide, Austin Peremobowei, Korebor Minama, Anthony Youbai, Oluwah Michael and Oloye Tamarayende.

 

They said: “We want EFCC to leave Tompolo alone because the petitioners are acting out of jealousy to indict and incarcerate him, that is why they are lying to the whole world that Tompolo sold the land for the building of Nigerian Maritime University, NMU, Okerenkoko.”

According to the communiqué, “The petitioners know the truth and the truth is that Tompolo only sold the International Diving Institute buildings at Kurutie community and the place was sand filled before he built the school. Among the structures are lecture halls, multipurpose pavilion, administrative block, vice- chancellor’s lodge and hostels for male and female students.”

“The previous government brought valuers and did all necessary legal things and collected VAT money before paying him about 90 per cent as agreed.

“We also urge EFCC to have a rethink and defreeze Mieka and GlobalWest accounts.” The group, however, commended President Buhari for his interest in the region, particularly the inclusion of fund for the Amnesty programme in the 2016 Budget presented to the National Assembly, saying, “We really appreciate your kind gesture.”

Ex-President Goodluck Jonathan Escapes Death In Bayelsa (Photo of Arrested Suspects)

Former President Goodluck Jonathan this morning when some suspected militants  in Bayelsa State drove into his convey.

The men, who intercepted and drove into a short motorcade conveying the former President from the Julius Berger bridge area of the state capital Yenagoa, trailed and chased the motorcade to the entrance of the Yenagoa private residence of the former President in the Kpansia area of the town, before they were overpowered and arrested by a combined team of security operatives attached to the former President.

Members of the arrested gang have been taken to the Bayelsa State Police Command for further
investigation and interrogation.

More details later…

Niger Delta Militants Invade Ebonyi Community

Two persons have been kidnapped by militants who invaded Afikpo community in Afikpo North Local Government Area of Ebonyi State.

It was gathered that the militants stormed the area through the waterways from Cross River State, abducted the victims, whose identity could not be verified at the time of filing this report.

Investigation revealed that the militants, who were suspected to be sea pirates, notified the Afikpo community before their coming and the attention of the Commissioner of Police was drawn to the threat, with the deployment of hundreds of policemen to barricade the area.

Commissioner of Police, Peace Ibekwe Abdallah, who led a combined team of army and police to visit the scene for on-the-spot assessment, said the militants blew up a police patrol vehicle with dynamite and burnt some temporary structures belonging to the people of the area.

Peace lamented that the militants equally killed a Police Inspector just as she noted that the presence of police at the scene prevented the militants from gaining access to banks, which according to reports, was their main target.

Credit: NationalMirror

Nigerian Troops, Militants Exchange Fire In Kogi

Reports from Okene town in Kogi state say troops of the Nigerian Army are currently engaging some unknown gunmen.

An Islamic cleric in the town told newsmen that the gunmen were “terrorists”.

He said residents remained indoors as the clash continued.

“We are presently in our houses, no any movement at all! Gun shooting everywhere!” the cleric said.

Read More: premiumtimesng

3 Boko Haram Militants Killed Transporting Bomb

Three militants of the Boko Haram group died on Tuesday when a bomb they were transporting exploded in Niger’s Far East region of Diffa, local sources said.

The bomb exploded when they were about to enter Bosso town, one of the sources told newsmen, adding that the militants were planning to carry out an attack.

On Sunday, 10 people, among them one soldier, five civilians and four suicide bombers, were killed in two separate suicide attacks by Boko Haram in Diffa.

The two bombs targeted a military camp and a Mosque in Diffa, a few days after two Nigerien soldiers were killed in an ambush by the militants in the same region.

Read More: vanguardngr

Vigilante Kills 17 Boko Haram Militants In Borno, Mostly Teenagers

Seventeen members of the Boko Haram terrorist group were killed on Wednesday evening by youth vigilance group in Lahou village, Borno state.

Speaking from the attacked village, near Ngulde in Askira-Uba local government area, about 70 Kilometres to Biu, the biggest town in the southern part of Borno state, the leader of the youth vigilance group in the area, Apagu Bitrus said the terrorists attacked Lahou at about 4pm on Wednesday but met their Waterloo “as our men were able to overpower them.”

Apagu bustling with enthusiasm said, “We slew 17 militants on Wednesday evening as they invaded Lahou village and equally seized two vehicles from them.”

?He revealed that the attackers were all between the ages of 12 and 17 years.

Creditthisdaylive

Boko Haram Militants ‘Have New Leader’

Boko Haram has a new leader, Chad’s President Idriss Deby says.

He did not say what had happened to Abubakar Shekau, but said he had been replaced by Mahamat Daoud – who has not been heard of before. Shekau has not featured in the group’s recent videos, leading to speculation that he has been killed.

Mr Deby, whose troops have been involved in battling Boko Haram, said Mr Daoud was open to dialogue.

The BBC’s Nigeria correspondent Will Ross says that last year, the Chadian leader was said to be brokering peace talks with Boko Haram.

But the negotiations never happened and were widely seen as a sham so some analysts will question how much credence to give to Mr Deby’s latest comments about the jihadist group, he adds.

Creditbbc

Chadian Army Kills Over 100 Militants In Anti-Boko Haram Operation

At least 100 jihadist fighters have been killed in an operation against Boko Haram Islamists holed up on the islands of Lake Chad, the Chadian army said in a statement Friday.

“117 terrorists have been killed, two Chadian soldiers died and two others were wounded” in the operation against the Nigeria-based movement, which began two weeks ago, army spokesman Colonel Azem Bermendoa Agouna said.

“For two weeks, Boko Haram terrorists have been trying to infiltrate our islands on Lake Chad to varry out attacks on peaceful citizens,” Azem said, adding that military operations were ongoing.

Lake Chad is a strategic region where the borders of Chad and northeast Nigeria converge with those of Cameroon and Niger, further north.

Boko Haram has carried out raids and suicide bombings in all four countries, which have formed a military alliance along with Benin to tackle the movement.

“Our armed forces and security forces have launched a vast offensive to dig out and neutralise these terrorists on these islands,” Azem said.

“Several boats have been destroyed and several weapons of different calibres have been recovered,” added the colonel, who specified that the operation had notably targeted the island villages of Koungya, Merikouta, Choua and Blarigui.

“The sweep continues and the definitive toll will be released later,” the spokesman said.

Read MoreAFP

Chadian Army Smokes Out Boko Haram Militants Hiding On Lake Chad Islands

Heavy fighting broke out Monday between the Chadian army and Nigeria’s Boko Haram jihadists, security and local sources said.

“Violent clashes” are under way near Baga Sola, one of the main Chadian towns in the lake that straddles Chad, Cameroon, Nigeria and Niger, a Chadian security source said, adding that Chadian forces had earlier “intercepted fleeing Boko Haram elements” around 20 kilometres (12 miles) to the southeast.

A source close to the local authorities said a “major search operation” was under way for Boko Haram militants hiding out on the lake’s islands.

CreditAFP

I Was Under Pressure To Convene Meeting – Tompolo

LEADER of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta, MEND, High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, explained, Friday, that he summoned Saturday’s meeting the of the militant group in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, because of the overpowering pressure mounted on him and other MEND leaders by ex-agitators and other beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme.

Tompolo confirmed there was apprehension in Ijaw land over the continued delay by the Federal Government in paying monthly stipends to the beneficiaries, adding that whilst some of them, leaders, understood the reason for the noticeable delay apparently caused by the scrutiny of government agencies, including the Amnesty Office, majority of the beneficiaries did not see it in that light.

His words, “While a few see the delay in the payment of their monthly stipends in the light of the need for the current government to settle in properly, others see the delay as a template to stop the programme. The expulsion of some students (home and overseas) by their schools and training institutions particularly has heightened these fears.”

The ex-militant leader, who is the Ibe-Ebidouwei of Izon nation is, however, flabbergasted that a section of the media mischievously linked the meeting to the stoppage of the his pipeline surveillance contract, even though payment had not been made for the services rendered in the renewed contract, or termination of appointments.

Describing is it as highly provocative and despicable; he said he was considering calling off the meeting, if anything, to show that he had no bad intention and would want Niger Delta to remain peaceful under the President Muhammadu Buhari government.

Vanguard gathered that leaders across the region had called Tompolo, yesterday, advising him to cancel the meeting, as the intention was likely to be misconstrued.

However, the group of MEND, which refused to disband after Tompolo and others disbanded the militant group in 2009, yesterday, in a statement by Jomo Gbomo, distanced itself from the meeting.

Source – vanguardngr.com

What Tompolo, MEND Leaders Will Discuss As They Regroup In Bayelsa

LEADER of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta, MEND and High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, yesterday, summoned commanders and leaders of the various wings of the militant group to an emergency meeting, tomorrow in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State.

He did not state agenda of the meeting, but Tompolo, who is the Ibe-Ebidouwei of Ijaw nation, in the invitation, said the meeting, which will hold at Izon House, Yenagoa, was important.

His words, “My dearly beloved Commanders and Leaders of various wings of the Movement of the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, I greet you all. It is my pleasure to humbly invite you to a very crucial and urgent meeting.”

A source told Vanguard, “The place of the Niger Delta in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and appraisal of the former President Goodluck Jonathan government in view of the current happenings in the country will be tabled for discussion at the meeting. The meeting is restricted only to those invited, it is not an all comers meeting, we will make our position known after the meeting.”

...Militants

Tompolo and other ex-militant leaders officially disbanded MEND after they accepted amnesty offered them by the administration of former President Umaru Yar’Adua in 2009.
But, a faction of MEND, which did not accept amnesty continued to operate the militant group and stated their disapproval of Jonathan government, but it was obvious that the moving forces behind the group had abandoned it.

Tomorrow’s meeting is the first time all the former commanders and leaders of the militant group are meeting formally since it was disbanded in 2009.

Source – Vanguard

Bayelsa Women Protest Dismissal Of Ex-Militant Pilot Trainees

Scores of women from Niger Delta on Tuesday staged a protest against the dismissal of 13 youths being trained as pilots by the Lufthansa Airline Training School, Frankfurt, Germany.

They said the youth were disgraced out of the school due to the alleged refusal of the Federal Government to pay the Amnesty training fees and scholarship grants.

It was learnt that the 13 ex-militants undergoing the training were last week sent away from the institution over non-payment of fees.

Other ex-militant youths from the region have also been sent packing by their various institutions in South Africa, Russia, Germany, Ukraine and European countries.

The protesting women, from some coastal communities, during their protest, who marched to the office of the Leadership, Peace and Cultural Development Initiative in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital,  said President Muhammadu Buhari should be held responsible if there was a resurgence of violence in the Niger Delta.

They warned Buhari that as mothers, they were already feeling the heat and the gathering of disgruntled youths in their communities, saying the government’s refusal to pay the training fees was creating serious tension.

One of the protesting women, Madam Ebiere Ankiomete, warned that though President Muhammadu Buhari’s actions so far had given more hope to the people of the region, but his refusal to appoint a substantive Chairman of the Presidential Amnesty Committee to liaise with Ministry of Finance to pay the training fund was a serious concern to them.

She said, “If the appointment is delayed till September, the Amnesty beneficiaries in institutions abroad would have been denied approved trainings.”

Addressing the aggrieved women, President, LPCDI, ex-militant commander, Pastor Reuben Wilson, appealed for calm.

He called on Buhari not to allow the PAP to disintegrate owing to starving of fundings to meet the aims and the objectives  of the peace offered to ex-agitators  in the region to pave  the way for harmony and smooth operation of oil production.

Wilson said, “The passionate appeal comes on  the heels of avalanche of complaints received by the indigent parents of the Amnesty beneficiaries, home and abroad, that their children and wards are currently experiencing hardship due to  lack of funds for the programme.

“President Buhari should not lose sight on the germane issue that brought about the PAP and save it from total collapse.

“Mr. President, we use this medium to remind you and the good people of Nigeria of promises to the people of Niger Delta about positive changes. Nigerians have since voted you into power because they need change, but from what we have seen so far, we have reasons to doubt how soon, if at all, the change will come.

“The peace we are enjoying in the Niger Delta area today is because of the Amnesty Programme initiated by President Umaru Yar’Adua because he had the interest of the Niger Delta people at heart.

“You will also recall that as a result of the Amnesty offer, the country went from producing 900 barrels to over 2million barrels of crude oil per day.”

Wilson said the parents who were infuriated at the attitude of President Buhari administration, since more than one month of assuming power, wondered if his words at inaugural speech of strengthening PAP was just lip service and deceit.

He said the truth was that anybody who meant well for the people of Niger Delta would not delay the payment of the Amnesty monthly stipends for a period going to three months now.

We’ll Strengthen Amnesty Programme – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari on Monday said that his government will not totally discard the amnesty programme for Niger-Delta region but will build on the good aspects of the Programme.

This is even as he assured both foreign and local investors of his readiness to implement far-reaching reforms which he said will boost accountability and transparency in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.

Buhari spoke at a meeting with senior officials of Chevron led by the company’s President for Africa and Latin America, Mr. Ali Moshiri at the presidential villa, Abuja.
The president also promised to effectively address the myriad of challenges in the sector.

“We understand the situation in the industry and we will do our best to address the challenges
affecting exploration, production and distribution of oil products in the country,’’ the President told the delegation.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Mallam Garba Shehu stated that president Buhari acknowledged that the Amnesty Programme was initiated by President Umar Yar’Adua to reduce violence in the Niger Delta region.

The statement added that “his administration will also implement other measures to enhance security in the Niger Delta and optimize investments in Nigeria’s oil and gas industry.”

Speaking earlier, chevron president, Moshori urged President Buhari to restore the confidence of international investors in the industry even as he “identified improved security in the Niger Delta as key to increased investment in the oil and gas sector in Nigeria.”

According to him, “Chevron which has 36.7 percent interest in the West African Gas Pipeline Company Limited, was keen to support Nigeria’s gas sector and bring more electricity to Nigerian consumers.

45 ISIS Militants Killed By Poison, Dozens Taken To Hospital

Forty-five ISIS Takfiri terrorists have been killed by eating poisoned food in the Iraqi city of Mosul, while dozens of others have been taken to hospital.

A young man from Mosul doctored their iftar prepared for the terrorists with the deadly poison and managed to kill 45 of them and send 100 others to hospital, some of them reportedly in critical condition, Iraqi local sources said on Tuesday.

The incident reportedly occurred in the Wadi Hajar district, located in the southern part of the city, where popular resistant groups have recently formed to retaliate against ISIS atrocities.

The northern and western parts of Iraq have been plagued by violence ever since Takfiri ISIS militants began their march through Iraqi territory in June 2014. Army soldiers and volunteer fighters have joined forces, and are seeking to take back militant-held regions in joint operations.

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Tompolo Denies Receiving N1.5bn Monthly

Government Ekpomupolo, also known as ‘Tompolo’ has denied allegations made against him by the pioneer chairman of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) Alhaji Tijani Ramalan, that he was paid N1.5billion monthly for the protection of the nation’s maritime domain.

Speaking through his spokesperson, Comrade Paul Bebenimibo,Tompolo said Ramalan is merely seeking desperate attention in the hope of getting a job.

The statement reads in part: “My attention has been drawn to a publication in the Leadership newspaper of Wednesday June 3, 2015. In the said publication, one

Ahmed Tijani Ramalan made very wild, unsubstantiated allegations against my person that the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety

Agency (NIMASA) pays me the sum of N1.5 billion monthly for the protection of the nation’s maritime domain.

“Without any further stress, it is obvious that the said Ramalan is merely seeking an undue attention. And whatever that attention is,

“I make bold to say Ramalan who claims to be the pioneer chairman of NIMASA is not just economical with the truth but his outburst is an exhibition of ignorance and mischief which should be ignored by all.”

He added that he is not on the board of Global West. “Ramalan’s contraption of any sum being paid to me is therefore rubbish, malicious, unsubstantiated and display of ignorance. I can only pity such a man whose intention is perhaps to rubbish my name and needlessly drag me into the fray of disputes at a time the new government of President Muhammadu Buhari is barely one week in office.”

Calling on President Mohammadu Buhari to ignore the allegations against him, Tompolo, added that the intention of Ramalan is to generally misled and probably position himself for a comeback to NIMASA.

Stop The Oil Surveillance Deal Given To Tompolo – Ex-Militants

Some ex-Niger Delta militants have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to review the multi-million dollar oil pipeline security contract awarded to ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemukpolo, alias Tompolo and other ex-militants like Asari Dokubo by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.

Coming under the aegis of The National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-agitators led by its national president, Israel Akpodoro, they made the call in a press conference held in Abuja.

In 2012, the Jonathan signed a $103 million deal with Global West Vessel Specialist Agency Ltd, a firm that is linked to Tompolo. The deal was to patrol Nigeria’s waterways to stop piracy and oil theft even when the Nigerian Navy is denied adequate funding.

Addressing newsmen on behalf of the ex-militants, Akpodoro also called on Buhari to review the Niger Delta amnesty programme, citing “fraud” and “selective treatment” in the federal government rehabilitation programme.

Buhari has promised to cancel all illegal contracts that is not in the interest of Nigeria and Nigerians.

Grant Amnesty To Boko Haram – Northern Elders Tell Buhari

Some prominent northerners including the former Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Mohammed Uwais and Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe and former Nigerian Ambassador to the United Nations, Ibrahim Gambari have asked the President -elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, rtd, declare amnesty for Boko Haram Insurgents when he takes over power on May 29.

However, Second Republic lawmaker, Dr. Junaid Mohammed, dismissed the call saying it would amount to rewarding criminals instead of punishing them for crimes against humanity.

They also asked Buhari to give priority attention to the special economic programmes for the North East geopolitical zone which had been ravaged by the Boko Haram terrorists, just as they warned against the scrapping of the on-going amnesty programme for ex-militants in the Niger Delta region.

These were contained in a communiqué issued after a two-day conference with the theme: “Security and Governance Challenges in Africa’s largest Democracy by the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development, SCDDD, as part of its “Nigeria Beyond 12015 Project,” in Abuja yesterday.

Those communiqué was signed by Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, founder of Savannah Centre, Major General Ishola Williams, Executive Secretary, Pan-African Strategic and Peace Research Group, PAN-AFSTRAG, Justice Mohammed Uwais (chairman of the occasion) and Ambassador Abdullahi Omaki, executive director of the Savannah Centre.

They also called on the Federal Government ‘’to expedite action on the compensation of victims of Boko Haram terrorism and insurgency through the established and funded Victims’ Support Fund,’’ and for urgent priority attention to the special economic programme for the North East by the incoming administration, just as they condemned ‘’the carnage, devastations and displacements, which the Boko Haram group inflicted upon many innocent Nigerians in the north east region.’’

VanguArd

Tension In Rivers Over Council Polls

Tension has enveloped Rivers State over the plan by the Rivers State Independent Electoral Commission, RSIEC, to go ahead to conduct local government election in the state on Saturday.

There are fears that the election may be disrupted and engender chaos since the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has gone to court to challenge the legality in conducting the council polls.

The heightened tension in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital, in southern Nigeria, may not be unconnected with the fact that the state had one of the highest number of politically motivated killings during the just concluded general elections in the country.

While counsel to PDP, Emmanuel Aguma, insists that there is a subsisting court injunction against RSIEC from conducting the election, RSIEC is claiming that no such injunction exists and so it is not bound by any legal encumbrances from conducting the poll.

As the back and forth argument continued the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in Rivers State has denied releasing voters’ register to RSIEC for the conduct of the election.

RSIEC had earlier told journalists that it had received INEC’s official voters’ register for the conduct of the election.

INEC in a statement signed by its secretary, Roy Obijiri, said it did not give the register to RSIEC.

He said the delay in releasing the register was due to impending court processes over the matter in a federal high court in Port Harcourt.

The statement by INEC also said the court adjourned the matter and admonished all parties to maintain the status quo pending the determination of the appeal and the substantive suit.

PDP is boycotting the election and on Thursday insisted that RSIEC is relying on membership register in place of INEC register to conduct “an illegal election that would end in nullity”.

Berating RSIEC for compromising its responsibility and descending so low to promote illegality in the state having been gratified by Governor Chibuike Amaechi, the State PDP Chairman, Felix Obuah through a statement signed by his Special Adviser on Media, Jerry Needam, described RSIEC’s collaboration as tragic and most regrettable.

Obuah said the action by the state electoral body amounts to wishing to right an illegality with criminality simply to justify the huge money paid to them by the outgoing Governor Amaechi.

The State PDP chairman while dismissing the plot as an effort in futility, lauded the courage of the other 13 political parties in the state for shunning Amaechi’s inducements and withdrawing from the purported council election.

He reassured the affected parties of the supremacy of the rule of law which must be vigorously pursued by the PDP-led government to ensure that every political party is given equal opportunity and fairness to participate in any political contest.

APC in Rivers has in the meantime raised an alarm, accusing PDP of importing mercenaries into the state to disrupt the Council polls.

The PDP Counsel, Aguma, said it has written to the Police, Department of State Security Service, DSS, and other security agencies that there is a court order preventing RSIEC from conducting election and that status quo should be maintained. And therefore any attempt to conduct tomorrow’s election is illegal.

Aguma wondered how RSIEC can conduct the election without a vital INEC register recognised by law. “With due respect, those canvassing to contest are merely wasting their time and resources,” he said.

Meanwhile, on Thursday the State Police Command said it is ready to provide security for the election.

Ahmad Muhammad, PPRO of Rivers State Police command, gave the assurance.

It is however not clear if the command will restrict movement during the election. No announcement to that effect has been made at the time of this report.

Extend Niger Delta Amnesty Programme To North-East – Savannah Centre Conference

Participants at the just-concluded two-day post-election conference on security and governance, organised by the Savannah Centre for Diplomacy, Democracy and Development have come up with a 25-point recommendation for consideration by the incoming government of President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari.

Prominent among the recommendations was the call for the incoming government to replicate the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme which, it said, succeeded in addressing the issue of militancy, violence and human resource development and stabilised crude oil and gas production, in the northeast and other parts of the country to fight youth unemployment and restiveness.

“The conference observed that the Niger Delta Presidential Amnesty Programme has succeeded in not only addressing the issue of militancy, violence and human resource development in the Niger Delta region, but also stabilising crude oil and gas production.

“In view of the success of the programme, it is suggested that the model, particularly the human resource and capital development, should be extended to north east region and other parts of the country to tackle the challenge of huge youth unemployment and restiveness which are the precursors to violence and insecurity,” it stated.

Other recommendations of the conference contained in the communiqué included recognising the need for security shift from military-centred to military-civilian centred. It called on all the security organs to play their pivotal roles in protecting citizens’ lives and property, as well as protecting them from fear and physical harm.

It affirmed the primacy of developing integrated comprehensive national security policies, addressing the major military and human security concerns, emphasize the efficacy of adopting, nurturing, developing, consolidating and strengthening bilateral and multilateral relations with Nigeria’s neighbours by evolving strategic and tactical, military, socio-economic and political cooperation, particularly with Mali, Cameroon and Chad in combating Boko Haram terrorists.

The communiqué recommended the need to redress the current communication deficit by improving on information sharing by the defence and security establishments, on a need to know basis with stakeholders and the citizenry.

Also, the conference recommended that member-states of the Lake Chad Basin Commission must as a matter of priority support the operational effectiveness of the Multinational Joint Security Task Force and quickly conclude the ongoing negotiations on the legal status and operational modalities of the task force. This, it said, is in view of the high level of the vulnerability of the Lake Chad region, which is currently compounded by the Boko Haram insurgency.

The conference expressed concern that the Office of the National Security Adviser has been saddled with wide-ranging responsibilities which should be appropriately handled by relevant agencies. While acknowledging the efforts of the NSA in pioneering initiatives and developing policy and operational framework documents to enhance effective and efficient security and defence service delivery, it said NSA should properly enlist and engage other relevant agencies and stakeholders in implementing these laudable initiatives and wide-ranging responsibilities encapsulated in the document.

The conference which lamented the carnage, devastations and displacements which were inflicted upon many innocent Nigerians by the Boko Haram in the North-East region, recommended the setting up of a special economic programme for the affected States of the North-East region, focusing particularly on issues of rehabilitation, resettlement of the people and reconstruction of affected infrastructures.

The conference recommended that the victims of Boko Haram terrorism and insurgency should be compensated by the Nigerian State and advised against the proliferation of the institutions of State with overlapping functions.

Other recommendations include reform of the mandate and structure of Federal Revenue Mobilization and Fiscal Commission, e.g. fixing remuneration of public officers, innovative programme of the Federal Inland Revenue Service to generate more revenue must continue and the mining of solid mineral resources for State development.

The conference also recommended devising a system for States to account for monthly allocation before collecting the next month’s allocation, ensuring that oil bunkering is eradicated by encouraging artisanal refinery and a discussion of the national cake in terms of what are the ingredients to bake the cake, where the ingredients comes from and who bakes the cake, who shares the cake, who gets what and in what percentage.

Asari Dokubo Threatens President-Elect General Buhari Again

Following the defeat of President Goodluck Jonathan in the March 28 presidential election, leader of the militia group, Niger Delta People Salvation Front, Asari Dokubo, has declared that his group is ready to commence its bloody armed struggle against the Nigerian state.

Asari on several occasion in the recent past promised to make Nigeria ungovernable if Jonathan, an Ijaw man from the Niger Delta, was not voted for a 2nd term by Nigerians. Nigerians rejected him!

Speaking on Sunday at the Major Isaac Adaka Boro’s Memorial event, the militant said the restraining order the Jonathan’s administration had on the armed struggle for self determination of the Niger Delta people has been voided with the emergence of the Muhammadu Buhari government.

He said a new phase in the struggle will soon be unveiled?,? but ?that militants ?will wait for the new government to “draw the first blood.”

“Yes, a new government begins in Nigeria and a next phase of our struggle shall begin also,” he said. “Jonathan Goodluck Presidency was like a restraining order now that restraint is lifted. However, we will watch and wait, let them draw the first blood and we shall determine our best way forward. Truly Nigeria will never be the same again the future is pregnant.”

He said the posturing of the incoming Buhari-led administration suggests that it will extinguish whatever is left of the Niger Delta struggle. He added he is ready to die in war or in prison if the in-coming government attempts to trifle with the struggle for self-determination of the oil-producing region or treat it as a conquered region.

“Should Buhari whom like pharaoh has determined in his heart to turn desolate the Niger Delta region, draw the first blood by undermining certain interest of the region then begin the systemic arrest, maiming and murder our comrades, continue the confiscation of our rights to self-determination and treat the region as a conquered region, then it may be honourable for some of us to die in prison or in the field of war as nobody is afraid of him,” Mr. Dokubo said.

Asari took a swipe at other Niger Delta militants that have declared their readiness to work with in-coming government describing them as “petty penny merchants” and “field slaves” who have fled the battlefield.

He further called on Niger Delta youth to resist any attempt to treat the region as a defeated region.

“Let it be known that we were not defeated,” he said. “It was Jonathan and his party that lost an election. We as a people, indeed the Niger Delta region alongside the Igbos were never defeated. We collectively rejected the born to rule and supremacist agenda which some of our brothers as field slaves and taskmasters supported yet their number shows that they are of little consequence, we must however not take them for granted.”

He also took a swipe at Jonathan, saying the president is merely a beneficiary of the Niger Delta struggle but not a part of the struggle and thus cannot understand the real intent of the struggle, which, he said is to secede from Nigeria which he described as “a false and forced colonial union.”

“He, Jonathan Goodluck, was never in the struggle. He was not a product of the struggle but an establishment beneficiary of our struggle. Our struggle is not and never about becoming the president. It was not about being awarded oil licenses and mouth-watering contracts. It was not about massive infrastructural development of the Niger Delta Region. It was not about high scale appointments, employment and empowerment. It was never about interventionist programmes and projects.

“Our struggle indeed is about our collective freedom from a false and forced colonial union that has remained divided and un-integrated. It is about our being conferred a slave status and seen as a conquered people who must exist at the mercy of the overloads and supremacist class using our own brothers as taskmasters against us in a Nigerian union.”

But the same Asari amassed wealth from the multi-billion naira pipeline contract awarded to ex-militants by the Jonathan administration as part of the amnesty deal.

Amnesty An Act Of Laziness And Enrichment By Ajise Tega

When the present generation work for the future generation, both the present and the future generation is secured. When the present generation steals, or believes in earning their daily bread for no tangible work done, both the present and the future generation becomes lazy, redundant and unproductive. An unproductive nation is a danger first to itself and then to other nations.
For the incoming APC administration that has promised job creation as a priority, Job creation would not be complete without the right concept of dignity of labour. To prove a better alternative as they have so bragged about, they must do things differently in the area of job creation. It is no news that Nigerians are growing lazy in fending for themselves; the causative reasons cannot be mentioned without government being the major culprit. Everyone wants easy access to money for doing frivolous jobs like their counterpart contractors.
Most jobs the GEJ led administration claimed to have created are unsustainable. It would not be excused for its inability to pay workers salary leading to the country borrowing to meet up with its responsibility. It would have been better if GEJ classed these jobs as welfare packages. This would give a clear picture of the problem at hand rather than live in self deceit that millions of jobs were created that can never be found.
It is appalling to see every youth and community fighting for oil pipeline protection contract, one thing is obvious this same people are the vandals of these pipelines. All they are doing is telling the FG to give them money or they will destroy our common source of national livelihood. Like the continuous theft of 400,000 barrels per day with the money been paid to stop it. One can conclude that giving out such contracts is not a guarantee that the pipelines won’t be vandalized. It is a lazy call, a lazy way to fend for our daily bread that would take the country backwards. Most of these pipeline vandals has aligned themselves as militants or affiliated to an existing group that was granted a costly amnesty.
There have been calls for Buhari to continue the amnesty program. An overview of the amnesty program, which the main beneficiaries are using groups to sound the call for continuum. The main benefactors are the high ranking militant bosses or the amnesty contractor or consultants as call them(selves), who gets the large chunk of money and become overnight multi millionaires and billionaire. then use whatsoever they like in the name of training. If amnesty program makes this possible then it is as unfair as the same reasons that lead to agitations that brought about it.
As a southerner I have always asked my people who say a certain part of the country enjoy our oil wealth to the detriment of the producing region, though I don’t dispute their facts, the one question I ask is what have we as southerners come together to make of our oil wealth for the now not to talk of the future? The most effective which is a good job with the oil company is made possible by the oil companies. The answers I get have always been nothing. The said NDDC if properly probed a lot will be shocked that it’s more of a waste pipe. By the time our oil is finished the things that can point to the region as once oil producing is the stark environmental pollution and degradation caused by exploration and the few who can keep their oil gotten wealth.
I would like the incoming administration to ask every amnesty consultant/contractor to present a visionary plan they have for the Niger delta region, aside a vision of their contractual monetary gains I would say nothing. There is a time for everything, Amnesty came, like every sector of the economy it was exploited, it is high time it is scrapped for the sake of the Niger delta people who are beginning to see the oil in the region as a justified reason why they must have access to government funds in whatever guise for doing nothing thereby making a lot redundant. rather such funds should be geared towards job creation. It may take time, such wait can be frustrating. Putting the future generation in perspective if properly done we would always be glad.
May God Help Us.

Views expressed are solely that of author and does not represent views of www.omojuwa.com nor its associates

Shehu Sani Urges Buhari To End Amnesty Program For Ex-Militants

The Senator-elect for Kaduna Central, Mr Shehu Sani, has called on the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, to scrap the ongoing amnesty programme for ex-militants when sworn into office.

The programme was initiated by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua for ex-militants in the Niger Delta.

Speaking during a courtesy call to Arewa House in Kaduna on Tuesday, Sani described the entire amnesty programme as a sham and urged the incoming President to probe the operations of the Amnesty programme.According to him, the amnesty programme ought to be a temporary gesture and not a permanent thing which, he said, some persons have turned into a conduit pipe to drain the nation’s wealth.

The senator-elect wondered why the amnesty programme should be continuous and only meant for youths from a particular ethnic nationality while their counterparts from other regions are left out.

The senator-elect also accused President Jonathan’s administration of skewing development to the South-South alone while neglecting the North and South-West regions.

On the back of this, he called on General Buhari not to repeat “the mistake” of the outgoing government, but to ensure he carries all parts of the country along in his government.

Ayiri Emami Urges Buhari to End Amnesty Program For Ex Militants

Ex Niger Delta militant and new APC  billionaire stalwart Ayiri Emami, has called on President-elect Muhammadu Buhari to scrap the ongoing amnesty programme initiated by the late President Umaru Yar’Adua for ex-militants of the Niger Delta.

Emami, now a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Delta State and a former Itsekiri warlord, said on Thursday that Buhari should also probe the operations of the Amnesty Programme.

“If the layman’s understanding of the word amnesty is anything to go by, then it presupposes an arrangement where militants who genuinely turn in all their arms and ammunition are rehabilitated, re-oriented and trained with a view to reintegrating them to everyday societal living.

“In the ordinary sense of it, any person or group that picks up arms in the name of struggle or agitation ought to have been treated as terrorists, hence nobody or group should take the gesture of the federal government for granted.

“Amnesty should not be continuous; partially giving out money to youths from a particular ethnic nationality is wrong, sending some of them abroad for training without any visible impact on the Niger Delta and the nation at large is counter-productive,” he said.

His declaration was obviously in reaction to a recent call by the Ijaw Youth Council, demanding the continuation of the Amnesty Programme for Niger Delta youths.

Niger Delta Militants, Others Demand Oil Bloc From Buhari

Some community and militant groups in Delta State have warned that they will not accept the exclusion of the Niger Delta people in the allocation of oil blocks in Nigeria.

A source close to one of the interest groups told Punch that with the failure of President Goodluck Jonathan to secure the support of northerners and south-westerners in the March 28 presidential election, the people of the region now want to take a stand on how they want the oil blocks allocated.

The source said several meetings had been held and more meetings would still hold to arrive at a common position, as renewal of the oil block licences will become due soon.

He said, “You can see how they voted during the election. Every ethnic group voted for their own. But they want to come back to the Niger Delta to take away our resources without even recognising that we should be involved in the allocations.

“Let them come. We are waiting for them.”

The source also said the recent series of destruction of oil pipelines and formations in the Niger Delta area was just a warning signal to the authorities that the people would not be ready to take it lightly anymore.

“You can see that most of the oil block licences come from the North and other parts of the country. But when it came to voting, they mobilised their people against our son,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Police in Delta have yet to find a clue to the explosions that rocked the Ekiugbo-Ighrenene-Afiesere oil pipeline.

Urhobo Gbagbako had claimed responsibility for the Friday bombing of the NPDC oil pipeline at Ighrenene community between Afiesere and Ekiugbo, and the shutting down of all the oil fields in Urhobo and Isoko nations.

The group’s spokesman, Priest Omodjuvwu, said the bombing was to protest the neglect of the ex-militants of Urhobo extraction in the award of pipeline surveillance contracts by the Federal Government.

Suspected Militants Blow Up Main Gas Pipeline In Delta

Are the Niger Delta militants posing a threat to the incoming administration of the former Head of State and president- elect, Major General Muhammadu Buhari as they did to current and past regimes?

This question has become relevant because, barely four days after Buhari was declared winner of the Presidential election, beating incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan, suspected militants have blown up a major high pressure gas pipeline at Ighwrenene Community in Delta State, warning the President-elect that he may have his hands full in containing the economic sabotage. The incident allegedly occurred around 2:30 am yesterday.

Read More: Vanguard

We May Return To Militant Activities , Asari-Dokubo Issues Threat

Former Niger-Delta militant, Mujahid Asari-Dokubo, says with the defeat of President Goodluck Jonathan, he and other militants may be forced to return to the creeks and continue their activities.

Asari-Dokubo, who hails from the same region as Jonathan, said the voting pattern showed that the South-West and the North ganged up against the South-South and South-East geo-political zones.

The ex-militant said in a statement by his spokesperson, Rex Anighoro, that it was unfair that the minorities were being emasculated by the majority ethnic groups.

He said he is afraid that the government of President Muhammadu Buhari would be hard on them.

Asari-Dokubo said, “The conditions that advanced the need to embrace the creeks have been sadly re-energised. It is clear that a vicious government who may maim and murder the voice of the so-called minorities may have just been birthed.

“Indeed integration is non-existent as regional gang-ups and supremacy is symbolic with this victory.”

The ex-militant, who had in January said he and his colleagues would wreak havoc if Jonathan lost the election, praised the President for being a true statesman.

He said it was the struggle of the militants that led to the Jonathan presidency.

Asari-Dokubo said since the South-South had lost the presidency, ex-militants would meet to decide the next line of action.

He said, “While President Jonathan enjoys his moments and basks in the euphoria of a new world-renowned statesman having congratulated Muhammadu Buhari, we must quickly be reminded that our struggle was never about Jonathan or about the presidency.

“President Jonathan is an establishment beneficiary of our struggle, our sweat and blood that many bled and died for. He was never in the struggle and he can never wish away our collective march for statesmanship.

“Yes indeed, to an extent, he was a mitigating factor in self-determination pursuit as we went on sabbatical. This mitigation he seems to have willingly repudiated. The days coming will be critical. We shall study all the conditions and consult widely before determining the way forward for our collective existence and survival as a people. The days coming shall either drive the quest of integration or further separate us.”

OPC, Ex-militants Donning Fake Police, Military Uniforms To Unleash Mayhem On Opposition – APC

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has raised the alarm that ethnic militias and ex-militants are now wearing fake police and army uniforms so they can unleash mayhem on the opposition and disrupt voting, especially in the South-west, without hindrance.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Friday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said OPC members were sighted at Owu -Elepe in Ikorodu Local Government Area on Friday morning changing into fake police and army uniforms, confirming the alarm earlier raised by the party that fake uniforms of security agencies were being sewn in the capital city of a South-West state.

It also said ex-militants have been issued with fake military uniforms and deployed to some areas of Lagos, especially the Lekki-Ajah axis, to foment trouble.

APC said the ex-militants in military uniforms are moving around in unmarked private vehicles, and their assignments are being facilitated by security agencies.

”In his national broadcast to the nation on Friday morning, President Jonathan said he is under oath to protect the lives of all Nigerians and the security of the country at all times. How can he do that when his supporters have engaged the services of ethnic militias, whom they
have clothed in police and military uniforms, to engage in violence
and election manipulations?

”If indeed the President means what he said, when he warned in his broadcast that ‘all necessary measures have been put in place to ensure that any persons who breach the peace or cause public disorder during or after the elections are speedily apprehended and summarily
dealt with according to our laws’, then he should immediately call his supporters to order and direct the security agencies to arrest those going around in fake police and military uniforms,” APC said.

Source – PM News

OPC, Ex-militants Now Being Dressed In Fake Military Uniforms By PDP Leaders – APC Raises Alarm

The All Progressives Congress (APC) has raised the alarm that ethnic militias and ex-militants are now wearing fake police and army uniforms so they can unleash mayhem on the opposition and disrupt voting, especially in the South-west, without hindrance.

In a statement issued in Lagos on Friday by its National Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the party said OPC members were sighted at Owu -Elepe in Ikorodu Local Government Area on Friday morning changing into fake police and army uniforms, confirming the alarm earlier raised by the party that fake uniforms of security agencies were being sewn in the capital city of a South-West state.

It also said ex-militants have been issued with fake military uniforms and deployed to some areas of Lagos, especially the Lekki-Ajah axis, to foment trouble.

APC said the ex-militants in military uniforms are moving around in unmarked private vehicles, and their assignments are being facilitated by security agencies.

”In his national broadcast to the nation on Friday morning, President Jonathan said he is under oath to protect the lives of all Nigerians and the security of the country at all times. How can he do that when his supporters have engaged the services of ethnic militias, whom they
have clothed in police and military uniforms, to engage in violence
and election manipulations?

”If indeed the President means what he said, when he warned in his broadcast that ‘all necessary measures have been put in place to ensure that any persons who breach the peace or cause public disorder during or after the elections are speedily apprehended and summarily
dealt with according to our laws’, then he should immediately call his supporters to order and direct the security agencies to arrest those going around in fake police and military uniforms,” APC said.

Source – PM News

Tompolo, Ex-MEND Commanders Hold Secret Meeting In Asaba

EX-MILITANT leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, held a meeting, yesterday, in Asaba, Delta State, with former top commanders of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, from Bayelsa, Delta and Rivers states.

*Tompolo

A dependable source, said: “The meeting was convened by Tompolo to deliberate with his former colleagues on next month’s presidential election as it affects President Goodluck Jonathan, who is an Ijaw indigene.

“They also reviewed the support of the nonoperational MEND for the All Progressives Congress, APC, presidential candidate, Gen. Muhammadu Buhari (retd), and agreed on ways to mobilise ex-agitators in the region for the PDP presidential candidate.”

The ex-MEND commanders reportedly left Asaba after the meeting for their respective states.

The source added “It is a top-secret meeting. I cannot tell you more than that. I am even surprised how you got to know about the meeting.”

I Am An Enemy Of The State To Many Nigerians – Asari Dokubo #Video

Founder of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, NDPVF, Mr Asari Dokubo, has denied himself citizenship of the nation Nigeria.

The former freedom fighter said he couldn’t establish anything in a ‘strange land’ where his enemies abound.

Dokubo stated this while speaking as guest in ‘Rubbin Minds’, a programme on the Channels Television on Sunday.

The Niger Delta indigene who had vowed to make blood flow on the streets of the country if Jonathan loses as president of the nation come February 14, publicly declared that he had no regret dumping Nigeria for neighboring Benin Republic.

When asked why he did not establish his institution in the country, a fire-splitting Asari said: “I am a businessman. My business is mostly centered around education. I have about four schools.

“I have crèche, nursery and secondary school, King Amachree International School in Cotonou, Republic of Benin. I have King Amachree Automobile and ICT Academy and I have King Amachree Arts Academy and King Amachree Sports Academy.

“Its only education that I do. By March, King Amachree African University will come on board”.

He noted that his passion for education, despite not completing his own university education, was because the quality of education being offered in Nigeria was very inadequate as he believes “it just prepares people to speak English, to write and to make noise.

“Any student who graduates from my school is skilled,”.

Asked why, according to reports, he has a university in the Republic of Benin rather than building it in Nigeria, he said, “I don’t see myself as a Nigerian and I cannot establish a school in an enemy territory.

“For over 30 years, I’ve been at loggerheads with the Nigerian Government, first as a Student Union leader, then President of National Union of Rivers State Students, participating in student unionism.

“I have been an enemy of the Nigerian state, so to say. Up till today, there’s a treason trial hanging on

my head and you cannot just put your business in an environment where one person would get up and say ‘I close down this business’.

“I want somewhere where I can express myself and flourish and that’s what I’m doing. We started small but gradually we are becoming bigger and bigger.”

Asari Dokubo, who became a citizen of the neighbouring Republic of Benin in 2013 maintained that he had never been a Nigerian citizen.

“I have never been a Nigerian. Nations are not created by force…they are created by the people. You saw Scotland trying to vote yes or no. Today no Scottish man can say ‘I’m not a Briton’ because majority of Scottish people have accepted to remain in the British Union.”

He also gave his opinion about Nigeria’s 2014 National Conference, maintaining that the existence of a “no-go-area”, among other issues, meant that the country was yet to hold a sovereign national conference, which he had demanded for 30 years.

“We don’t want a situation where somebody will arrogate to himself the power to decide the fate of other people. We want a Nigeria that recognizes that there are different nations no matter how small they are, and they are accorded the same space in Nigeria,” he added.

Ex-Militant Leaders Tackle Coordinator Over Amnesty Funds

Scores of former Niger Delta militant leaders are locked in battle with the Coordinator in charge of Bayelsa State, Pastor Reuben Wilson, over alleged diversion of N150m amnesty funds.

The ex-agitators have therefore asked the Federal Government to commence investigations into the matter.

The ex-agitators said that the money was meant for their empowerment but was nowhere to be found, suspecting that it had been diverted to private pockets.

In a petition addressed to President Goodluck Jonathan through their lawyers, Olu Ojujoh & Co., the ex-militants said since they surrendered their arms in 2009, nothing had been done to resettle them.

The group of ex-militants in the petition dated November 25 and signed by Head of Chambers, Olu Ojujoh, accused Wilson of “squandering all the money the Federal Government paid through him to settle them.”

The ex-agitators in the petition made available to our correspondent on Tuesday, called on the police, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission and other anti-graft agencies to arrest and probe Wilson.

They traced their woes to 2011 when, according to them, the Federal Government through the Amnesty Office released N10m housing allowance to each militant leader.

But the aggrieved ex-militants claimed that their group leader was fond of paying them what he liked instead of the money approved by the government.

Source – Punch NG