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13 ex-militant groups threaten withdrawal of ceasefire

Published by The Nation on Wed, 01 Jul 2020

Bassey Anthony, UyoThirteen militant groups in the Niger Delta which had accepted a ceasefire due to the Federal governments amnesty programme have threatened to resume hostilities.The groups under the aegis of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators (CNDA) said they have withdrawn the ceasefire agreement they signed with the FG because of the continued refusal of President Muhammadu Buhari to accede to their earlier demands.They stated President Buhari has continued to rebuff their calls for the sack of the Niger Delta Affairs minister, Senator Godswill Akpabio as well as the dissolution of the Interim Management Committee(IMC) of the Niger Delta Developmemt Commission (NDDC), which according to them reeks with massive corruption under Akpabio.The CNDA also condemned the unwillingness of the President to address the thorny issues of marginalization of the Niger Delta in terms of appointments in the oil and gas sector, particularly the replacement of the Group Managing Director of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation with somebody from the region.The CNDA stated their position in a release dated 28th June, 2020 sent to our correspondent on Wednesday in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state via WhatsApp.The released is signed by leaders of the 13 groups namely General John Duku for Niger Delta Watchdogs, General Ekpo Ekpo for Niger Delta Volunteers, General Osarolor Nedam for Niger Delta Warriors and Major-General Henry Okon Etete for Niger Delta Peoples Fighters.READ ALSO:Buhari has ended business as usual in NDDCex-militantsOthers are Major-General Asukwo Henshaw for Bakassi Freedom Fighters, Major-General Ibinabo Horsfall for Niger Delta Movement for Justice, Major-General Duke Emmanson for Niger Delta Fighters Network, Major-General Inibeghe Adams for Niger Delta Freedom Mandate among others.The release stated in part, The Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators has withdrawn its ceasefire and demanded for the immediate removal of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, as well as the replacement of the Group Managing Director of the NNPC with a qualified indigene of the Niger Delta region.The General Assembly of the Coalition also condemns the laissez-faire attitude of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the leadership of President Muhammadu Buhari towards the continued sufferings and yearnings of the people of the Niger Delta.It is also paradoxical for a government that prides itself as one that gives zero-tolerance to corruption to keep mum over series of allegations of corrupt practices involving APC stalwarts in various MDAs including the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, the NDDC and the Presidential Amnesty Office.What the Buhari government is doing to the region is bringing us back to the period 2005-2009 which witnessed the rise of militancy in the region and which also laid the foundation for the establishment of the Amnesty programme by the YarAdua administration to neutralize hostilities.The CNDA said they should not be blamed or held responsible for any unforeseen actions that may result from Buharis refusal to address the issues mentioned by them.
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