A militant group, Niger Delta Defence Corps (NDDC) has threatened to continue the bombing of oil pipelines unless its members were represented in the on-going peace meeting between the Pan Niger Delta group, headed by Chief Edwin Clark and the Federal Government.
NDDC, led by one General John Egbe, had threatened to blow up two pipelines in Delta and Rivers states, noting that the failure to invite the group would have dire consequences as the group would carry out attacks on oil pipelines.
A few hours after the first meeting between the Niger Delta leaders and the Federal Government, a major oil pipeline was blown up in Delta.
NDDC in a statement claimed responsibility and served notice that more oil pipelines would be attacked until representatives of the group were invited to join in the meeting between the Niger Delta stakeholders and the Federal Government. According to Egbe, more attacks on the oil pipelines would demonstrate to the Federal Government that the Pan Niger Delta group cannot halt the bombings of pipelines in the region.
He accused the Niger Delta elders of refusing to include representatives of militant groups in the Pan Niger Delta group and giving the Federal Government the impression that they can influence militants in the region.
He said the Federal Government should hold the Pan Niger Delta group responsibile for allowing the attacks as it did not ensure a proper representation, especially of militants in the meeting.
He said Chief Clark, King Diete-Spiff and some unnamed Niger Delta leaders from Delta masquerading as peace makers do not have the capacity to call militant leaders in the region to order.
“We, the Niger Delta Defence Corps (NDDC), are responsible for Trans-Forcados Export Trunk Line at Batan community in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State. As we promised the Federal Government on Monday, October 31, 2016, more attacks will soon be launched. Let the Federal Government hold Pan-Niger Delta Forum responsible for the attacks. They have not contacted us. The Federal Government should go to the media and contact all the groups and send us invitation and we will send our representatives. The Niger Delta leaders are aware that they cannot stop the bombing of oil pipelines. What they can do is to appeal which we can chose to ignore,” it said.
Following the festering militants activities in the region, President Muhammadu Buhari last Tuesday met with leaders from the region in Abuja.
The stakeholders tabled a 16-point demand.
The shopping list which bordered on the socio-economic development, security and restoration of peace in the region, included the need to fast-track interventions on some of the region infrastructure, award of oil bloc to Niger Delta indigenes, presidential amnesty programme, law and justice issues and the effect of increased military presence in the region
The forum is one of the strategies by the Federal Government to resolve the crisis.