Tension in Nigeria: New militant group threatens Buhari, gives 7-day ultimatum

– A new militant group named the Red Egbesu Water
Lions has emerged in the Niger Delta
– The group has threatened the President Buhari-led
administration
– A 7-day ultimatum has been given to the Nigerian
government
– President Buhari is to meet the demands of NDA or
face the wrath of a union of militants and IPOB
The Red Egbesu Water Lions has vowed to team up with the
Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) in ensuring zero production of
oil and gas in the region if the NDA’s demands are not met.

File photo: Red Egbesu Water Lions
In a statement by its Creek Network Coordinator, “General”
Torunanawei Latei, on Wednesday, the new militant group
vowed to work with the Niger Delta Avengers and
Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, IPOB, to ensure that all their
demands were met in the next seven days.
Among others, the group demanded the immediate release
of Nnamdi Kanu, the IPOB leader and the discharge of
former National Security Adviser, NSA, Sambo Dasuki from
prison custody.
It also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately
direct the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission to
defreeze the bank accounts of ex-militant leader,
Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo.
READ ALSO: Attacks on oil pipelines: Buhari under fire for
seeking GEJ’s help
The Red Egbesu Water Lions, said to be an Ijaw group,
threatened to shut down all oil exploration activities in the
Niger Delta at the expiration of the ultimatum if the
president ignores the group’s demands.
This Day reports that as part of its requests which must be
met in the next one week, the group called for the
“unconditional and immediate payment to victims of the
Bonga Oil Spill and Chevron gas explosion in Koluama,
Bayelsa state”.
While decrying the alleged lawlessness of the Buhari-led
federal government, the Ijaw group argued that the
government was becoming notorious for deliberate
disobedience to court orders.
“It is extremely important to note that the engine room of
the national interest is the executive obedience to court
orders, protection and preservation of citizens’
constitutional liberties.
“Justification of executive disobedience to court orders as a
protection of national interest is abominable.
“This is a deliberate ploy to bend the law and suspend the
1999 Constitution. We ask, does President Muhammadu
Buhari have any legal capacity to declare anyone as a
criminal? Disobedience to court orders is an act of
executive rascality in the country,” the group contended.
It still isn’t clear as at Wednesday, May 18, whether it was a
resurrection of the Egbesu Mightier Fraternity Of Izon (Ijaw)
Land and The Water Lion, a group which became prominent
five years ago when its members threatened to eject people
of northern origin from the region when the Boko Haram
sect started attacking Christians in the Northeast.
In the same vein, reports have emanated that militants
operating in the Niger Delta have launched a fresh attack in
the region, blowing up a gas pipeline operated by the
Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) at Ogbembiri in
southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa state.
The latest attack on the pipeline occurred on Sunday, May
15, at about 9pm when the militants stormed the
community, traced the pipeline and ruptured it at the same
point where it had been repaired after a previous attack.
Some sources in the community said dynamites were used
to blow up the pipeline, while others said the gunmen
deployed other mechanical devices to rupture the line
along the axis.
This latest attack has fueled questions within the
community over why security agencies saddled with the
responsibility of protecting oil installations are unable to
stop the frequent breaches .
Joe Igbokwe, chairman of the Lagos Wharf Landing Fee
Collecting Authority and publicity secretary of the All
Progressives Congress (APC) has predicted that a bloody
war imminent in the Niger Delta.
The scribe has said that unless senior citizens of the Niger
Delta and patriots rise now to talk sense into the empty
heads of the people that call themselves the Avengers and
the concerned militant leaders, a full-scale war is imminent
in the Niger Delta, and it is going to be bloody and
destructive.
Similarly, Chukwuemeka Ezeife, a former governor of
Anambra state, has warned President Muhammadu Buhari
that any attempt to crush Niger Delta militants may spell
doom for Nigeria.
Speaking with Daily Sun, the ex-governor advised the
president to engage militants and other aggrieved people
from the South-South and South-East in dialogue.
Commenting on the recent the reawakening of the Niger
Delta militants, Ezeife said: “Buhari might have conquered
Boko Haram but, the Niger Delta may spell doom for the
country if the language the president is using is crush
them.”

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