Three militant groups operating in Akwa Ibom and Cross River States, the Niger Delta Volunteers (NDV), Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, Niger Delta Strike Force have announced resumption of attack on all the oil and gas installations in the two states.
Accordingly, they have advised international oil companies, subsidiaries and servicing firms to vacate Akwa Ibom Cross River territory with immediate effect for the safety of their staff members and expatriates.
To avert the strike tagged ‘Operation Zero Oil Flow’, the militant groups are demanding the return of oil blocks specifically in Akwa Ibom state but owned by Northerners and Yorubas to the indigenes of the state.
The leader of the groups, Commander Ekpo Ekpo stated the resolve of the militants in the two states to attack oil and gas installations in a statement made available to newsmen in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital.
“We wish to officially announce our readiness to resume ‘Operation Zero Oil Flow’ in Akwa Ibom State. This time will be more deadly, zero tolerance for any obstacle that would stand in our way of success to liberate Akwa Ibom from the enslavement of the Nigerian government.
“We hereby give all the oil/gas companies operating within Akwa Ibom State immediate ultimatum to withdraw their workers from all the oil installations, platforms, rigs within our territory both onshore and offshore.
“The operation zero oil flow’ will commence as soon as possible; and we shall destroy all the oil installations within our reach both onshore and offshore, we shall cripple oil/gas pipelines, flow lines and export lines. We have already carried out survey and map-out (sic) the strategy point in all the trunk-lines, flow stations, export lines”, he said.
The militants fretted that in the country today, it is believed that government of Nigeria believe that Niger Delta exist only in Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Edo without Akwa Ibom and Cross River states.
“We watch with dismay the inhuman treatment meted to Akwa Ibom state, the leading oil producing state in Nigeria by the Nigerian government; it is on record that Akwa Ibom produces the highest crude oil on daily basis.
“Being the most peaceful state in Niger Delta and always cooperate with federal government, the state has been turned to dumping ground by the central government of Nigeria, the government has no concentration, interest, infrastructural development.
“Being the most marginalised and neglected state in Niger Delta; we have been forced to carry arms as the only option and the language the government understands.”
The Akwa Ibom people, he said has been denied inclusion into the Presidential Amnesty Programme are from Akwa Ibom State.
Ekpo noted that former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Godswill Akpabio, sponsored and documented 500 ex-militants from the state out of 3,800 but the federal government until today has refused to include them in the amnesty programme.
He said “the groups in the two states were very surprised when federal government went ahead to implement the second and third phase of the amnesty scheme with more than 6,000 beneficiaries drawn from Bayelsa, Delta, Rivers, Ondo and Edo, leaving Akwa Ibom and Cross River States, using our peaceful nature as weakness.”
To worsen issues, he said the previous government awarded pipeline surveillance contract to Bayelsa, Edo, Rivers and Delta agitators without involving Akwa Ibom state.
He observed that presently there were still serious power play and executive plot aimed at denying them the pipeline surveillance contract that has already been secretly awarded to other Niger Delta states.
Ekpo added, “Let it be known to the Nigerian government and the entire world that the worst, most deadly, most dangerous set of militants are from Akwa Ibom state, militants from others came here to acquire the little powers they use, we are the owner and we are going to use it well now.
“The peaceful atmosphere enjoyed in Akwa Ibom state by the oil and gas multi-national companies would not be same from now as we have resolved to launch the most deadly attack on all the oil and gas companies operating in Akwa Ibom state and environs.
“On oil companies operating in our territory, we wish to advise ExxonMobil, Total E&P Nigeria Ltd, Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria, Amni International Petroleum Development Company, Afren Resources Ltd, Oriental Energy Limited, Chevron, Adax Petroleum and many others including their subsidiaries and servicing companies to vacate Akwa Ibom territory with immediate effect for the safety of their staff and expatriates.
“Apart from the open attack, we have also launched our secret cult attack (Ekpe-Ikpaukot) which shall kill whoever they meet without you seeing them”, he added.