The new Niger Delta militant group, Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF), which claimed affiliation with Niger Delta Avengers, has declared ceasefire, The Cable reports.
There was an earlier threat by the militants had to launch six missiles in some named locations and to also shut down Nigeria’s airspace, but after the government made a proposal for dialogue, the group said it had decided not to execute its threat.
Declaring readiness to accept Federal Government’s offer of dialogue, JNDLF in a statement at the weekend listed its demands, saying the government will have to follow them if they want a permanent reign of peace.
The demands of the group include the immediate release of Sambo Dasuki, former National Security Adviser (NSA) and Dr. Nnamdi Kanu, IPOB leader and Director of Radio Biafra, the reversal of the order to freeze the bank accounts of Government Ekpemupolo, better known as Tompolo and the establishment of Maritime University in Okerenkoko, Delta state.
JNDLF noted that:
“We shall continue to engage in dialogue if our demands are met. Our representatives for the dialogue, especially the governors and others will not betray our demands with the federal government. Any betrayal on their own part shall be viewed as betrayal of the entire region and we shall go after them immediately as they know our mode of operation in which they will not escape from us.
“There is no gainsaying that we made our earlier promise to launch six missiles simultaneously against some targeted areas. But this was waved aside as a result of appeals made to us through email by the federal government and some international nations to open talks with Buhari.
“We saw some genuine aspiration on the part of Buhari, who made several contacts to us to see reason with them over the issue of under-development of the region. And since he (Buhari) had set the ball rolling for a clear negotiation with us, there is no problem without solution. We have therefore declared ceasefire in order to negotiate with the government if it is a true reflection of what they have in mind to develop the Niger Delta region.”
The Niger Delta Militant group also demanded the implementation of the report of the 2014 national conference “failure of which Nigeria will forcefully break-up. Oil-polluted lands in the Niger Delta must be cleaned up, while compensation should be paid to all oil-producing communities, e.g. Chevron fire outbreak of gas explosion in Koluama, Bayelsa state and Bonga Oil Spill in 2011.”
The militants in addition, demanded for the removal of Brigadier General Paul Boroh (rtd.) as co-ordinator of the Presidential Amnesty programme, explaining that he does not understand the programmes and policies of the Amnesty and does not know them to the grassroots. “Hence he should be replaced with Dr. Felix Tuodolo who has been in the struggle of non-violence since 1980 and he was the designer of the Amnesty programme”.
According to the militant group, The reason for their negotiation with the Federal Government is not for the sake of the monetary benefit but to ensure that the government is genuinely committed to develop the region “and anything less than that we will continue our struggle without further warning to the federal government”.
The Niger Delta Militant group went on to reveal that they carried out the attacks on oil and gas pipelines in the region because of a statement credited to President Buhari who allegedly said he will only develop areas that gave him 95% votes during his presidential election last year. As the Niger Delta people only gave him 5%, the militants vowed that their oil money will not be used for the development of any other region.