Saturday, December 23, 2017

$1Bn ECA Boko Haram Fund - Reformed Niger Delta Avengers Threaten To Resume Hostilities

A coalition of Niger Delta militants, under the auspices of the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA), on Thursday, sent a protest letter to President Muhammadu Buhari over the controversial proposal to deduct $1bn from the Excess Crude Account (ECA) to fight the Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East.

The militants slammed the Federal Government describing the plan to withdraw $1bn from the ECA as wicked and insensitive, saying it allegedly disregarded the peace accord signed with the people of the Niger Delta.

The RNDA, in an open letter to journalists, signed by ‘Major General’ Johnmark Ezonbi, aka Obama, warned the government not to take the present ceasefire agreement for granted and demanded the Niger Delta’s own share of $1bn from ECA for the development of the region within four weeks.
They warned that the region would witness a massive destruction of oil pipelines and installations in a well-coordinated attack tagged, ‘Cripple the Economy with Zero Crude Oil Production,’ if the government failed to accede to their demand boasting that there would be no more oil funds to finance the 2018 budget if the demand is not met.

“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,” the letter read.

“We want to warn the Federal Government not to take the current ceasefire, which the country is enjoying with the daily crude oil production of between 2.2 to 2.4million barrels of crude production amounting to billions of naira on daily basis for government and which has helped the country get out of recession, 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 day light 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.

“We demand our own share of the $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account for the development of the Niger Delta within four weeks. We will ensure that anything that stands on our way will be crushed without mercy.

“All foreign nationals are hereby advised to leave the region as all our unit commanders have put on red alert to resume operation zero oil production on the expiration of the four weeks 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.

“Imagine up till now, the N6 billion approved for the take off of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, has not been released while there is no hope of starting an academic session in the institution this year. Is this how we will continue to live in a country where injustice reigns supreme?
“The four-point agreement that was reached with the Host Communities of Nigeria by the Federal Government has not been approved up till date; the 10,000 pipeline surveillance jobs has also not been approved.

“Government has not endorsed the gas penalty fund for the Host Communities and 10 licenses of the modular refineries as we speak. Even the 16-point demand submitted to Mr. President has not seen the light. That is the reason the Federal Government is skeptical to implement any of the 16- point demands.”

“Government’s policies and programmes in no way point to any form of development in the long neglected region despite the huge resources the country gets from the region.”