After carrying out attacks on gas and crude oil pipelines in Bayelsa State, the newly formed Continuous Emancipation of Niger Delta (CEND) on Friday reeled out six demands which the Federal Government must immediately fulfill to avert sustained “destructive attacks” on oil and gas installations in the country.
The demands, contained in an email by the General Officer Commanding of CEND, ‘General’ River Lord (aka Adaka Bor), had virtually all the seven-point demands of South-South governors and leaders as presented to the Federal Government’s delegation on Tuesday in Port-Harcourt, Rivers State.
The only addition is the demand by CEND, a coalition of 36 militant groups, that the Federal Government should henceforth pay the 13 percent derivation directly to oil and gas producing communities.
CEND in its demands called for the relocation of the headquarters of all oil and gas companies operating in the Niger Delta to the region, as well as the demilitarisation of the entire Niger Delta. It also called for the practice of fiscal and true federalism.
Another demand of CEND is “the repositioning of the Niger Delta Development Commission, and the Presidential Amnesty Programme, in line with its core mandate and community participation.”
Among those in the coalition spread across the region are Supreme Egbesu Resource Fighters, Niger Delta Resource Control Force, Emancipation of Niger Delta, Reformed Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta, Niger Delta Adaka Boro Force for Resource Control, and Niger Delta Joint Task Force.
“The new coalition of 36 militant groups, Continuous Emancipation for the Niger Delta, has made bold its threat to carry out destructive attacks on oil and gas facilities across the region,” even as the group has claimed responsibility for the bombing of gas and crude oil pipelines in Ikarama community in Yenagoa Council Area of Bayelsa State.
“The pipelines which were completely destroyed by the attacks is operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company, and the Nigerian Agip Oil Company in Ikarama community, Bayelsa State.
“We are prepared to carry out our threats to the letter without any iota of fear as we have the capacity to bring the oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta to rubbles if our demands are not met.
“In the coming days, there will be series of attacks on major oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta simultaneously because they are well prepared to push the pawn to the other side of the board without fear and harassment from security agencies and the federal government.
“We want to warn all foreign nationals that this is the time to leave the Niger Delta region, as the attacks which will be total in the coming days, will not spare them. All foreign embassies should as a matter of urgency evacuate their citizens.
“All our field commanders have been briefed not to show mercy on any oil and gas installations no matter its location until the federal government meets our demands which are critical to the emancipation of the long-neglected region.
“If we do not act now, our children will ask us questions that we will not have answers to, our communities will go into extinction because of underdevelopment, environmental degradation, and pollution,” CEND said.
It added, “The struggle will not end until we see genuine efforts to develop the region, imagine the East-West road that connects the six states of the Niger Delta is in a deplorable state even worse than a death trap and if crude oil was being transported by road, probably our roads would have been better.
“The Federal Government and international oil companies are only bothered about how to lift crude oil without any present or future plan to develop the region. The blood of Isaac Adaka Boro and Ken Saro-Wiwa will not be in vain.”