The new Niger Delta militant group, Red Egbesu Water Lions has stated its demands on Wednesday.
The emergence of this new group with its demands is to complicate the crisis in the already battered region.
The Red Egbesu Water Lions made its stand known in a statement by its Coordinator, General Torunanawei Latei.
The group, as one of its primary mandates, is demanding of President Muhammadu Buhari:
1. The release of the leader of Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), Nnamdi Kanu, and the former National Security Adviser to former President Goodluck Jonathan, Col. Sambo Dasuki rtd.
2. To immediately direct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to defreeze the bank accounts of ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo
3. The unconditional and immediate payment to victims of the Bonga Oil Spill and Chevron gas explosion in Koluama, Bayelsa State.
It threatened to team up with the Niger Delta Avengers to shut down oil and gas production in the Niger Delta.
That is unless its demands were not met by the federal government within seven days.
The Ijaw group also noted that the government was becoming notorious for deliberate disobedience to court orders.
It said, “It is extremely important to note that the engine room of the national interest is the executive obedience to court orders, protection and preservation of citizens’ constitutional liberties.
“Justification of executive disobedience to court orders as a protection of national interest is abominable.
“This is a deliberate ploy to bend the law and suspend the 1999 Constitution.
“We ask: Does President Muhammadu Buhari have any legal capacity to declare anyone as a criminal?
“Disobedience to court orders is an act of executive rascality in the country,” the group contended.
Recently, the military invaded the creeks of Delta State in search of the Niger Delta Avengers.
Ten military personnel have been lost in the process within a month.
Meanwhile, the Sagbama-Tuomo gas line, belonging to Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, at Egbembiri, Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa State was attacked by militants.
The line which runs through the border town between Bayelsa and Delta States was also destroyed along the Ayama section of the Ogboinbiri-Tuomo gas pipeline with dynamites.
The federal government suspects a connection between Tompolo, an ex-warlord, with the renewed militancy in the region.
However, the traditional ruler of Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South-West Council, Delta State, HRH Oboro-Gbaraun II, Aketekpe, Agadagba, has insisted that members of the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) were not from his kingdom.
Oboro-Gbaraun II described reports, linking his kingdom with the activities of the militant group as malicious and unfounded.
He condemned those linking his people with the renewed violent agitations in the Niger Delta.
He also expressed dismay over the continued military siege on his kingdom in the purported search for the Avengers.
He maintained that it was untrue that Ekpemupolo was behind the group’s recent attacks on oil facilities in the region.
He said, “We as a people are peace loving.
“Upon hearing of recent activities of the so called Niger Delta Avengers, I immediately summoned a meeting of clan and community heads to intensify surveillance of our territory against the activities of the group to ensure that permanent peace reigns in my kingdom.
“But I was miffed when I started reading on the pages of newspapers that the militants are from my kingdom. This is not true.
“Let me stress here, we are not militants and nobody should give us a name that’s not ours.
“We don’t know them and I can tell you they are not from our communities.
“My people won’t resort to pipeline bombing to express any form of grievances.”
Commenting on the allegations that Tompolo is behind the current militancy in the region, he said:
“It’s politically motivated because he is not in the same party with the current administration.
“The right thing to do was to bring everybody together as one after the election and not pursuing your opponents.
While condemning the stoppage of work at the Maritime Academy in the area, the monarch added:
“I’m appealing to the Federal government because this will not bring peace to Niger Delta.
“The cancellation of the Maritime University was a political aggression against Gbaramatu kingdom.
“President Buhari should know that the university is key to the peace in the region.
“I urge him to allow academic activities to commence soon.
“He should see us as partners in progress and not foes”, the King argued.
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