Militants in the Niger Delta have issued the South-South leader and Convener of the Pan Niger –Delta Forum, PANDEF, Chief Edwin Clark, with threat text messages and emails, asking him, former military governor of old Rivers State, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, and ex-governor of Akwa Ibom State, Obong Victor Attah, to discontinue all engagements on the region’s peace process with the Nigerian Federal Government.
According to the militants, they had lost confidence in the body.
They also notified the elders to step aside so that they would bring oil production in the country to zero since government was not interested in proper conversation.
Speaking to Vanguard in his Abuja residence, at the weekend, Clark, who confirmed the threat messages, said: “I do not know who gave them my telephone numbers and email. I receive calls and messages everyday that they are tired, that they gave us 60-day window to discuss with the Federal Government, now almost a year after, they are tired.
“My telephones are filled up with text messages and threats. The last PANDEF meeting we held in Yenagoa, they sent me a message that they learned that we were having a meeting and that I should know they had lost confidence in us. They said some youths would be having a meeting in Port Harcourt and they would identify with the youths and publish it in the newspaper, and they published in Vanguard two days after, Monday, 17th July, warning that they had lost confidence in us.
“They mentioned me particularly and King Diete Spiff and Victor Attah, that we allowed ourselves to be used by these people, that they will not listen to us and that they will take their destiny in their own hands. So, they have been threatening, saying that they are tired of waiting.”
The PANDEF leader pointed out that the youths complained that nobody was listening to them anymore probably because they gave their mandate to the group, accusing that “we have taken money from government.”
“We honestly advise our eminent royal fathers and distinguished personalities in PANDEF to stop all engagements on behalf of the people and resources of the Niger Delta. Though we appreciate their sacrifice and service over the years, they have not been able to unshackle our people from the chain of slavery.
“We acknowledge the sacrifice of Chief E.K. Clark at 90 as well as the sacrifice of HRM Alfred Diete Spiff, His Excellency Victor Attah and all distinguished personalities of the PANDEF. But we want to state that slave masters do not and would never understand the language of platitude. We suspect collusion between them and the slave masters to further their personal interests.”
Spokesperson for the group, WOI Izon Ebi, clarified that, “The NDRC and the 21st century youths and agitators of the Niger Delta’s statement calling on PANDEF to stop its advocacy and representation of the Niger Delta people and its resources was not borne out of their ineffectiveness, rather, it was borne out of the fact that the mode and style of their advocacy has been overtaken by present day reality.
“We have resolved and are more determined to use all necessary means to take back our ancestral heritage by stopping all activities of exploration and exportation in Nigeria on the 31st of September 2017. And when that time comes, heaven will not fall.”
“We are also aware of a section of the political north to ramp up bombing and insecurity in the north east to use it as a bulwark to capture political power in 2019, just as they did in 2015, though foisting an ineffectual political leadership in the country, we advise them to thread with caution, what worked in 2015 would not necessarily work in 2019
“The same means that pipelines were blown to bring our production to 800barrels a day from 2.5million can be activated again. We want the federal government to realize that the same way we blow and destroy one pipeline is the same way we are capable of blowing and destroying all pipelines in 24 hours because we have the records and maps of all pipelines and exporting terminals.
“The white shark, the custodian of the aquatic heritage is just waiting for the D-day. It is time for the federal government to know that our agitation today is borne out of marginalization and oppression, as championed by our late hero, Major Isaac Jasper Adaka Boro. The federal government should act fast because there is no time, as the clock is ticking.’’