Two militant groups in the oil-rich Niger Delta region, the Revolutionary Crusaders, and 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta, yesterday accused the Federal Government of ploting to rig the 2019 election in the region.
The two groups said that the call-off of the ceasefire deal with the Federal Government by Niger Delta Creek Warriors, a coalition of militant groups, was a decoy to militarise the region and manipulate the forthcoming election in favour of the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC.
The two groups, in a statement by “General” O I Izon Ebi, dissociated themselves from Niger Delta Creek Warriors, NDCW.
A coalition of militant groups in the region had on Sunday aborted the prevailing ceasefire, citing alleged failure of the Federal Government to meet their demands.
But the two groups said, “The NDRC and the 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta disassociate ourselves from these faceless groups that call themselves Niger Delta Creek Warriors.
“Yes, all their demands are genuine and legitimate, but it has a political coloration taking into cognizance the forth-coming general election.
“Why is this threat coming at this time? Who and who did they contact? What is the motive behind it?
“The NDRC and the 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta view it as a ploy to militarise Niger Delta and put fear into the people to rig the election for the ruling APC.
“They should be disregarded because they do not have the capacity to carry out their threat. We want to advise the Nigerian Army, other security agencies and Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, to be neutral in the forth coming general election not to incur the wrath of all agitating groups in the Niger Delta.
“They should take into consideration the huge amount spent in servicing our foreign debts and our over dependence on our oil proceeds to sustain this nation, most especially, funding of the 2019 budget.
“The 2019 general election is very important and crucial to all Nigerians and we believe that it will give birth to a new Nigeria that will be fair to the Niger Delta people and enthrone equity and justice or mar and breakup this nation called Nigeria.
“We wish the nation a happy New Year and a peaceful election ahead.
“The Niger Delta struggle is all about the emancipation of the Niger Delta and cutting loose the spiritual chains of modern slavery, degradation, exploration, poverty, underdevelopment, oppression, injustice and total extinction of Niger Delta people by the activities of the multinational oil companies.
“The companies are only interested in drilling of oil with impunity and the Nigerian nation is interested in making profit, even when endangering the health and well-being of the Niger Delta people.
“The oppressive attitude of the Nigerian government and the inhumane activities of the multinational oil companies has given the Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders and the 21st Century Youths of the Niger Delta no choice, but to set aside their individual differences so as to focus on the great task of facing the oppressors that claim to own Nigeria.
“We warn the northern oligarchy and the Nigerian military that the people of the Niger Delta will not tolerate the unprofessional conduct of the Nigerian Army, Navy, Air Force and other security agencies any more. In the guise of looking for criminals or militants, they erase an entire community and kill our people on flimsy excuses.
“We have seen in the northern part of the country where Boko Haram operates with impunity, two distinguished Generals were brutally and shamefully slaughtered like common criminals.
“No single house or its inhabitants were killed or massacred like in the case of the genocide against the people of Odi in Bayelsa State and Gbaramatu kingdom in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State, whose wealth is used to sustain this nation called Nigeria.
“We want to warn that gone are the old ugly days such will happen again and the people of Niger Delta will still accept to be called Nigerians again in this 21st century.”