A coalition of Niger Delta militants on Thursday protested the federal government’s plan to withdraw $1bn from the Excess Crude Account.
The FG plans to withdraw the money to aid its military campaign against the Boko Haram in the North East of the country.
The militants, under the aegis of the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, put their grievances and accusations in an open letter addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari. They accused the government of double standards in the manner in which it handles security issues in the country.
In the open letter which was made available to journalists, the RNDA warned the government against making the withdrawal as it would negatively affect the peace accord signed with Niger Deltans.
They went on to threaten the government with a violent reacyion if their share of the $1bn is not made available to them in four weeks for the development of the region.
This, they said, would be achieved in a well-coordinated attack tagged, ‘Cripple the Economy with Zero Crude Oil Production’ with the sole aim of disrupting the production of crude oil.
“We will ensure that anything that stands in our way will be crushed without mercy,” he said.
The letter partly read, “Through the ceasefire, the country is enjoying daily crude oil production of between 2.2 and 2.4million barrels of crude production which amount to billions of naira daily for the Federal Government. It also helped the country to get out of recession. So, the government should not take our patience and silence for granted.
“We want to state categorically that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government is insensitive and practically negating the principles of natural justice by using resources derived from a neglected region to combat insurgency in the North-East in the senseless Boko Haram war to the tune of $1bn from ECA.
“Why not access the fund from excess account from the sale of agriculture products in the northern part of the country? Why must it be from the creeks of the Niger Delta?
“The Federal Government’s insensitivity to the Niger Delta development has obviously reached its crescendo. We will not take this but resist with our might. This broad daylight robbery against the Niger Delta people will not be accepted by us. We are going to resist this perpetual injustice against our long-neglected people in the region.”
They added, “We will ensure that anything that stands in our way will be crushed without mercy. All foreign nationals are hereby advised to leave the region as all our unit commanders have been put on the red alert to resume ‘operation zero oil production’ on the expiration of the four-week ultimatum.
“The governors of the South-South will not be spared for being part of that decision for the approval of $1bn to combat insurgency while our region suffers. We are the golden hen that lays the egg but nothing to show for it. The Federal Government will hear from us after the expiration of the four-week deadline.
“Mr. President, we the leadership of the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers RNDA made up of coalition of nine militant groups in the creeks of the most underdeveloped region in the world with the most blessed natural and human resources have watched the activities of the All Progressives Party-led federal government as regards the development of the region and have reached the conclusion that it is not yet Uhuru.”