A militant group operating in the oil-rich region of Southern Nigeria, Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders, NDRC, on Monday, August 1, 2016, alleged that there was an Islamic agenda by northerners to “enslave” the people of Niger Delta because of their oil.
The group in a statement by its 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.”
“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.
The group added that ”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.”
“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?” The statement concluded.