A new coalition of 36 militant groups, Continuous Emancipation of Niger Delta (CEND) has called on the federal government of Nigeria to pay 13 per cent derivation directly to oil and gas producing communities or would be forced to carry out continuous attacks on gas and crude oil pipelines in Bayelsa State.
The group listed six demands the Federal Government should quickly handle, otherwise the group would continue “destructive attacks” on oil and gas facilities.
CEND’s demands correspond with all the seven-point demands of South-South governors and leaders last Tuesday in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State,
Another coalition of nine militant groups in nine states of Niger Delta, Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA), headed by self-professed “Major General” Johnmark Ezonbi, had on Wednesday, night disowned the seven-point demands of South-South governors, saying they were politically motivated and federal government should reject them.
RNDA also maintained that 13 per cent derivation should be paid directly to the oil and gas producing communities and not the present situation where governors collect the money and do their bidding.
CEND, in an electronic mail by General Officer Commanding, GOC, self-styled “General” River Lord, aka Adaka Bor, obtained by our correspondent stated: “Our demands include the relocation of the headquarters of all oil and gas companies operating in the Niger Delta; Federal Government should pay 13 per cent derivation directly to oil and gas producing communities; demilitarization of the entire Niger Delta and fiscal and true federalism.”
“Other demands are the repositioning of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP, in line with its core mandate and community participation.
“Among those in the coalition spread across the region are Supreme Egbesu Resource Fighters, SERF, Niger Delta Resource Control Force, NDRCF, Emancipation of Niger Delta ,END, Reformed Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta, RMEND, Niger Delta Adaka Boro Force for Resource Control and Niger Delta Joint Task Force, NDJTF,” the statement said.
It continued: “The new coalition of 36 militant groups, Continuous Emancipation for the Niger Delta CEND has made bold it threat to carry out destructive attacks on oil and gas facilities across the Niger Delta region, as the group has once again claimed responsibility for bombing of gas and crude oil pipelines in Ikarama community in Yenagoa Council Area of Bayelsa state.”
“The pipelines which were completely destroyed by the attacks is operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC and the Nigerian Agip Oil Company NOAC in Ikarama community, Bayelsa State.
“We are prepared to carry out our threats to the letter without any iota of fear as we have the capacity to bring the oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta to rubbles if our demands are not meant.
“The same fate that befell crude oil pipelines in Golubokiri in Nembe and Ikarama in Yenagoa local government areas of Bayelsa state within the last two weeks will be the story everywhere oil and gas installations are located.
“Attacks will be carried out with utmost precision and intelligence that cannot be comprehended by the forces of evil against the development of the abandoned region,” the militants added.
“In the coming days, there will be series of attacks on major oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta simultaneously because they are well prepared to push the pawn to the other side of the board without fear and harassment from security agencies and the federal government.
“We want to warn all foreign nationals that this is the time to leave the Niger Delta region, as the attacks which will be total in the coming days, will not spare them. Al foreign embassies should as a matter of urgency evacuate their citizens”.
“All our field commanders have been briefed not to show mercy on any oil and gas installations no matter its location until the federal government meets our demands which are critical to the emancipation of the long neglected region,” the group said.
CEND asserted: “If we do not act now, our children will ask us questions that we will not have answers to, our communities will go into extinction because of underdevelopment, environment degradation and pollution”.
“The struggle will not end until we see genuine efforts to develop the region, imagine the East -West road that connects the six states of the Niger Delta is in a deplorable state even worse than a death trap and if crude oil was being transported by road, probably our roads would have been better.”
“The federal government and international oil companies are only bothered about how to lift crude oil without any present or future plan to develop the region. The blood of Isaac Adaka Boro and Ken Saro Wiwa will not be in vain,” it concluded.
SANWO-OLU MOURNS FORMER SUNDAY TIMES EDITOR, OGUNSANWO…Says Nigerian Media Industry Has Lost A Colossus
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has described the death of ace journalist and former editor of the Sunday Times, Mr. Gbolabo Ogunsanwo as a colossal loss to the media industry and the country as a whole.
In a condolence message signed on his behalf by his Chief Press Secretary Mr. Gboyega Akosile, on Sunday, Sanwo-Olu said the death of the ace columnist, whose weekly articles and editorial contents helped to shape the country’s social and political narratives is painful and heartbreaking.
Ogunsanwo, a respected and well celebrated columnist and former acting Editor of Daily Times, died on Friday.
Sanwo-Olu urged family, friends and colleagues of the late Ogunsanwo to work towards immortalising the deceased, saying what he stood for was to see a better nation as he constantly advocated in his several opinion pieces.
The Governor said the rich experience and knowledge of the late Ogunsanwo, especially his contributions to national issues through his editorial contents will be sorely missed.
He said: “The death of Mr. Gbolabo Ogunsanwo is a great loss to the media industry and he will be greatly missed. He made lots of positive impact during his life time, contributing meaningfully to the growth and development of journalism in Nigeria.
“He wrote his name in gold in the Sunday Times Newspaper as the first editor to hit one million copies in sales per edition. He was a role model to many journalists in Nigeria having nurtured many media practitioners who have become leading voices in the journalism profession and leaders in different sectors.
“As the Editor of the Sunday Times and later acting Editor of the Daily Times, Ogunsanwo’s landmark achievements in the media industry were unprecedented as the newspaper during his time sold almost a million copies in a day. Till date no other newspapers in Nigeria has broken that record.
“I sympathize with his family and friends and I pray that God will give them the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.”