Militants threaten to resume attacks if FG continues talks with PANDEF
By Emma Amaize
REFORMED Niger Delta Avengers, RNDA and coalition of nine militant groups, yesterday, threatened to resume fresh attacks in the Niger Delta if the Federal Government and relevant agencies refused within two weeks to stop further discussions with the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, which the militants had withdrawn their mandate from.
Rising from a meeting attended by leaders of the various militant groups at Benin River, Delta State, the agitators said: “We urge the APC-led Federal Government under President Muhammadu Buhari not to enter into any further discussion with the disbanded PANDEF group and Chief Edwin Clark any longer.”
In a communiqué by the leader of RNDA and Convener of the coalition of nine militant groups, self-styled “Major General” Johnmark Ezonbi, at the end of the meeting, the militants said: “RNDA urges Buhari to urgently convey a fresh negotiation with the Pan Niger Delta People’s Congress, PNDPC, under the leadership of HM Pere Charles Ayemi-Botu , Paramount Ruler of Seimbri Kingdom and former National Chairman of TROMPCON, which has been mandated by the militant groups to discuss with the Federal Government on behalf of the region.
“If the Federal Government fails to respond and discuss with PNDPC, then it should not hold RNDA responsible for any harm that will be done to oil installations across the Niger Delta. The relative peace currently enjoyed by the Federal Government should be used as a veritable platform to discuss with PNDPC.
“We give PANDEF, Chief Clark and the Coordinating Secretary, one Alfred Mulade, one week to stop parading themselves as representatives of the Niger Delta, as any further recognition by the Federal Government will be met with stiff opposition.
“Furthermore, we warn all state governors of the South -South zone, representatives of the Federal Government and any government official, the Minister of Petroleum Resources , State, Dr Ibe Kachikwu and Minister of Niger Delta, Pastor Sani Uguru with the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Brigadier- General Paul Boroh (retd) and other federal agencies to stop further discussion with the disbanded PANDEF and its members as it is no longer recognised to enter into discussions and negotiations on behalf of the region.
“Failure to abide by the directive, the disbanded PANDEF members should be held responsible for any fresh attacks and destruction of oil facilities in Niger Delta region,” he added.
The RNDA leader added: “It is laughable for PANDEF to say that nobody gave them the mandate to negotiate with the Federal Government, they should wake up from their slumber as the mandate had been withdrawn by those who gave them in the first place.
“PANDEF was set up in 2016 after we were persuaded to enter into a ceasefire agreement with the government to give room for dialogue to stop the bombing of oil facilities under the defunct Avengers.”
“It was the likes of Chief Mike Loyibo, Famous Daunemugha, Chief T.K Ogoriba, Dr Chris Ekiyor, with other well-meaning Ijaw youth leaders and stakeholders in the region with Jude Tabai, who came to the creeks with the Minister of Youths and Sports, Mr. Solomon Dalong and the Group General Manager in- charge of Security, NNPC, Mr Otobeize, to persuade us to enter into dialogue which made them to lay down their arms.
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