By Onitsha Shedrack————–
A new militant group, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM) has claimed responsibilities for carrying out a fresh attack on a major trunk/delivery line operated by the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NDPC) in Udu local government area, Delta State.
The attack, the group claimed took place at about 0200hrs, Friday 19th, 2016; by it strike team in an operation it code named “OPERATION ZERO” on oil facility operated by NPDC in Udu, an Urhobo community in Delta, warning of dare consequence should repair work be carried out without their permission.
The group in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Gen. Aldo Agbalaja stated that peace cannot be achieved in an unjust environment, stressing that NDGJM is not out just to cause calamity or delighting in chaos, rather it’s a child of circumstance, bore out to correct injustice that they have lived with.
He added that they took this line of action because successive the Nigerian government and oil multinationals over the years have taken their peaceful disposition and orderliness for granted; while encouraging and rewarding lawlessness and violence in the region.
According to Agbalaja, “we are in this struggle, not to create any acrimony with our friends and brothers in the riverine axis, who are equal citizens of this over sapped region, but to call the attention of the world to our peculiar experience; that we, as people of diverse tongues and orientation, have kept faith with both the Nigerian government and oil multinationals over the years, by being peaceful, patient and law abiding all through the years, but have in turn been abused and abandoned by these same supposed partners. They have all along taken our quietness and disposition for peace and choice for orderliness for granted. We have watched and seen that they only encourage lawlessness and violence.
“We have once seen that our quietness and disposition for peace were used to shortchange our people in not too distant past and we have now rearranged ourselves, chosen the line of action they respond to.
“Peace and order are not strangers to us, as a matter of fact, they are the way we have chosen for long and thus aren’t difficult for us to revert to, only that it will not cheap this time; it has to be bought with mutual faith and doing right to our people and our lands.
“To be clear, what we demand is not many and they are not hard to come by, they are just a matter of sincerity and staying forthright.
The group also demanded that the federal government should call an urgent and all encompassing meeting of genuine stakeholders of the core Niger Delta communities, especially those from oil producing communities; in order to create a truly Niger Delta platform, where real issues of injustice will be addressed.
They also added that the oil multinationals must be part of stakeholders talk and while the United Nations and some credible international NGOS should serve as witness to the agreement that would be reached to ensure that government does not reneged on them.
The group further demanded that headquarters of all oil multinationals operating in the region is relocated back to their various base of operation immediately for peace to reign.
NDGJM stated also that while they are not opposed to ongoing negotiations going on between the federal government, oil companies and the Ijaw elements of our region, “we are not comfortable that this is going on with an impression that it is the whole of Niger Delta that is involved.
“We demand that the federal government identify with a selection of very credible persons from all regions who are grass rooted, who understands the pains of our people and not some political criminals with names who are looking for breast pocket money.
“We are calling for an immediate cessation of military harassment of people and communities in our region, especially in the Ijaw areas. We know how very provocative this can be and an injury to one is an injury to all.
“To our Ijaw brothers, we are not in conflict with you, we are only trying to set things right, things that concern all of us must be set in proper perspectives. It does nobody any good if one usurps the rights and identity of the other, all of us suffer the same injustice and it is an injustice extended if only you are in focus, while the rest of the region pines away. Live and let live.
“To the oil multinationals, he who keeps quiet in the face of injustice to others is in the league of the oppressor. You all know the truth, but chose to blur it with your unrighteous silence, hence the heat we have chosen to set on you.”