By Uche Mbah
Presidency has kept mum over the threat by a Niger Delta group to secede by July 1 due to what they see as the marginalization of the region even though they are the proverbial goose that lays the golden eggs.
It will be recalled that ahead of the May 29th inauguration, a militant group, Network of Niger Delta Republic Fighters has threatened to declare Niger Delta Republic on June 1, 2019. This will be two days after the inauguration and swearing in of President Muhammadu Buhari’s second term.
Last year, another Niger delta group had told Muhammadu Buhari not to bother to be sworn in, that whether he wins the election or not, he should go by May 29 or else they will declare Niger Delta Republic. It is not clear whether that group has any relationship with the current group.
In a statement on Monday by the group Director of information Maxwell Dan, the group decried the situation in Nigeria, citing marginalization of the region under Buhari as one of their major reasons.
“It is common fact that Nigeria has completely derailed from the Path of Peace, Justice and Progress as proclaimed by its founding fathers”, the statement said.
They cited the treatment meted on the former DSS boss, Mathew Seiyefa, and the Walter Onoghen saga as part of the injustice against the Niger delta.
“They removed a Niger Delta son, Mathew Seiyefa, the most qualified director of DSS without any due process. Not satisfied with his cruel and selective onslaught against Niger Delta People, they plotted again and removed our son Justice Water Onnoghen from office on frivolous allegations without following due process, neither was he given fair hearing.
It is also unfortunate that after four years of this administration, there is no single viable project executed by the federal government in Niger delta despite the billions of Naira accrued to the government from the resource of Niger delta as a result of ceasefire in the region.”
They claimed to have ammassed weapons for the project.
It was gathered that the announcement brought tensions within Aso rock, bringing memories of threats by the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND, which threatened to bomb Aso Rock, resulting in Aso Rock being deserted by occupants while President Buhari made an emergency trip to the United Kingdom. This was at the begginning of Buhari’s first term.
The Army was said to have been kept on red alert.
Already, tensions have been in Aso Rock since the coup scare by the Military, who came out to debunk their involvement in a document circulating, which advocated overthrow of President Buhari. But there has been no sign of the document anywhere.
No body talked to by this Magazine has agreed that he has sighted a copy of the said document prompting the opposition to allege that it was part of preparing the ground for plan to arrest and detain principal opposition leaders. Minister of Information Lai Mohammed had insisted that the have strong evidence linking the opposition with plans to destabilize the government.