Posted by News Express | 29 October 2016 | 2,592 times
Militants operating in the Arepo area of Ogun State have threatened to cripple the state and neighbouring Lagos State if they are not granted amnesty by the Nigerian Government. They issued the threat via their leader, General Ossy Ibori.
A report in today’s edition of Saturday Vanguard said Ibori, 40 years old and a native of Kaiama in Bayelsa State in the oil-rich Niger Delta region, issued the threat during a midnight call to the paper last Monday. The threat is coming five months after the Nigerian Air Force bombarded the militants’ camp from Thursday evening, June 23, 2016.
Vanguard quoted Ibori as saying: “We escaped the bombardment with a lot of weapons though not all. Right now, we have fire guns, artillery, GPMG, K2, Pump Action, Double Barrel and locally made guns. You can’t find out how we buy our arms, we won’t disclose it but we want the government to know that we are ready for peace. But if they fail to dialogue with us, we are ready to bring down the economy of Lagos and Ogun states. We can even vandalise pipelines but for now, we don’t want that to happen. We want dialogue but if they refuse to comply, we are ready to destroy the economy of these two states. We want the government to know that, we are human beings like them and we are suffering, the youths are suffering but we don’t want to kill innocent souls. We have been in the creeks for the past 18 years. Within this period, so many souls were lost there but we are just ready to dialogue with the government to let peace reign.
“We want amnesty. We are not demanding monetary settlement, we are not demanding anything other than freedom and dialogue with the government. We want peace to reign. Secondly, we need amnesty as well as pipeline and waterways security. That will bring to an end kidnapping, armed robbery, bunkering and other criminal activities in the region. We are ready to stop all criminal activities. We are not money conscious, what we want is peace, we want dialogue first.
“If we are granted amnesty, we will be glad to provide security to oil installations. That’s what we want to do. We know much about the creeks and because of our expertise, we will like to work with the anti-vandalism team and the police to ensure absolute security in the creeks. Civil Defence’s claim that they chased us out of Arepo is not true. We are still in the creeks. We are even very close to them and if we decide to go offensive, we can even slaughter all of them, we can wipe all of them out of that area. We are together but we don’t want that to happen and that is why we want government to ensure there is peace here.”
Meanwhile, the Nigerian military has issued a stern warning to Niger Delta militants to embrace the Federal Government peace initiative or face the full wrath of the law.
“Chief of Air Staff, Air Marshall Sadique Abubakar, issued this warning three days after the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) destroyed Chevron Escravos export pipeline at Escravos offshore, which they hinged on the refusal of the oil company to adhere to its warning not to effect repairs, pending negotiation/dialogue between government and the Niger Delta people,” a Guardian report said.
The report said that Abubakar, while commissioning new blocks of Airmen Quarters at the 97 Special Operations Group (SOG) of NAF in Port Harcourt yesterday, urged the militants to desist from the wanton destruction of critical national assets, saying such has adversely impacted on the country’s economy and the fragile ecosystem in the region.
•Photo shows Niger Delta militants.
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