Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders, NDRC, one of the agitating groups in the Niger Delta region, yesterday, dissociated itself from the 21st Century Youths of Niger Delta and Agitators with Conscience, another militant assembly, which called off the existing ceasefire between Niger Delta militants and Federal Government, last Wednesday.
NDRC, in a statement by its spokesman, WO1 Izon-Ebi, said: “You will recall that on August 1, a militant group named 21st Century Youths threatened to return to the creeks as the ceasefire agreement they had with Federal Government was over.
“They claimed government had failed to keep its promises on all items and issues agreed upon during the ceasefire period which was signed seven month ago.
“Although they claimed to be acting in our region’s interest, we believe this group is misguided by disgruntled politicians, greed and impatience. We urge them to have a re-think and not throw our region into unnecessary crisis. We are not part of them.”
Niger Delta agitators had, last Tuesday, signalled a return to hostilities in the oil-rich region, when they called off the prevailing seven-month ceasefire with the Federal Government, brokered in November last year by Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, declaring Operation No Mercy and Destiny Takeover of God-given Resources.
The campaigners, under the auspices of 21st Century Youths of Niger-Delta and Agitators with Conscience, led by self-styled ‘General’ WO I Izon-Ebi, blamed the Federal Government for the new turn of event, saying government has, over the years, remained adamant in implementing agree-ments reached with the region’s representatives, including PANDEF’s 16-point demand.
NDRC, however, congratulated the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Matters and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Professor Charles Dokubo, on his genuine intention to maintain peace in the region since his appointment.
Meanwhile, Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative, IPDI, an Ijaw rights group based in Warri, Delta state, led by Austin Ozobo, fumed, yesterday, that the Amnesty Office was delaying the integration of ex-agitators of the Third Phase into the amnesty programme after they had embraced the programme.