Thursday, 9 June 2016
Proliferation of Militancy Continue in the Niger Delta, Latest Group Demands 60% Oil Bloc, Issue Ultimatum
Punch Newspaper reports that a new militant group, Ultimate Warriors of Niger Delta (UWND), has emerged in the Niger Delta. The group threatens to continue attacking oil and gas facilities across the Niger Delta region unless the Nigerian government agrees to award 60 per cent oil blocs to the people of the region.
The new group which made its demands known for the first time on Wednesday also demanded that the federal government allow the $16 billion Export Processing Zone otherwise called Delta Gas City project begin operations in earnest.
It, however, gave the government a two-week ultimatum to ensure that their demands were adequately met for a lasting ceasefire in the region.
Spokesperson of Ultimate Warrior, as it chose to be addressed, Sibiri Taiowoh, in a statement obtained by our correspondent, said if that if the Nigerian government truly wants peace in the region, it should award 60 per cent oil bloc to indigenous people from the region as its primary demand for a ceasefire.
The group further asked for commencement of academic activities at Federal Maritime University established during the regime of former President Goodluck Jonathan.
Warning further, it said failure to meet its demands, would warrant total shutting down of vital oil facilities including Chevron BOP, Okan Platform, MEREN Gas Gathering Compression Platform and Chevron Tank Farm.
The statement added, “We are also behind the recent pipeline bombing in the Niger Delta region and I can assure you we will not stop until the EPZ project and the Maritime University are totally completed and start operations.
“We want to be the ones to be safe guarding oil pipeline in our area so as to create more jobs for our people. We would resist any attempt to give surveillance contracts of pipeline in our backyard to foreigners. We want the pipeline jobs to be given to our indigenous people.”
“We also want 60 per cent of the oil blocs to be allocated to the Niger Deltans just as the Federal Government has also allocated 80 per cent to those who are not from the oil producing area and just as 50 per cent of the resource was used to develop the non-oil area when we were producing cocoa and groundnut as main economic resources, the same 50 percent should be use to develop the Niger Delta region because we are the ones suffering the brunt of oil pollution and degradation in the region”, it further added.