Following Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s visit to River State for an interactive session with stakeholders on the ongoing peace process in the region, a coalition of four major group of militants in the Niger Delta warned that Osinbajo’s fact-finding visit remains meaningless unless he hears it directly from the agitators.
In a media statement released by representatives of the group, under the aegis of Niger Delta Watchdogs, Niger Delta Volunteers, Niger Delta Strike Force and Niger Delta Warriors, they reiterated their threat to attack South African investments in the country at the end of the 30-day ultimatum given to them to vacate the country. insisting that the recent tour of the region by acting President Osinbajo was hijacked by the political class.
The militants insisted that the recent tour of the region by acting President Osinbajo was hijacked by the political class in Port Harcourt, claiming that they were shut out from various interactions the acting President had with stakeholders during the visit. This, they say, simply implied that the Prof. Osinbajo had not been properly briefed on core issues at the root of militancy in the region.
The statement reads:
“Let it be known to the acting President that his fact-finding visit can only be meaningful when he hears from the agitators or their representatives.
“The visit of the acting President did not carry along the agitators in the arrangements; those who matter most in this fact-finding mission are the armed and the unarmed youths who are in the forefront of the agitation.”
According to the militants, the armed and the unarmed youths who are capable of causing harm to Nigeria’s economy must be given the utmost attention. The statement continued;
“They are the ones that have the capacity to do harm to the economy of the nation and yet, the government, in collaboration with their political parties, is alienating and shielding these potent forces from the acting President.”
The group, therefore, demanded, that the acting President should invite the representatives of agitating groups to give first-hand information to him, as this will bring the desired long-lasting peace to the region.
In the signed statement by the group’s spokesman Aldo Agbalaja, they expressed their dissatisfaction with Osinbajo’s meeting to the Ijaws in what they described as ‘Divide and Rule.’
“‘Divide and rule’ will not work, if the people of the upland part of the region are not treated with same level of respect as those in the creeks, there will never be security for the oil assets you so much cherish.”
He said that “Ijaw is not superior to other oil producing communities across the Niger Delta” and he also urged all oil companies relocating back to the region to give unto every community what is due to it, without imposing any group over another.
According to the militants, money is not their main target, otherwise, they would have been involved in criminal activities such as ones some pseudo groups have been involved in. They insisted that they only fight for the love of the Niger Delta people and the preservation of their God-given land.