Niger Delta militants threaten fresh hostilities, accuse FG of neglect

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A coalition of militant groups in Niger Delta, the Joint Revolutionary Council, has threatened to resume hostilities, if the Federal Government fails to address the problems in the region.
JRC spokesperson, Cynthia Whyte, said it was regrettable that the Presidential Amnesty Programme has been under siege in the last three years.

Whyte said: “There is nothing good to show in the region, in spite of the increase in price of oil, and the relative peace that we have guaranteed in the Niger Delta.

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She said the relative peace had enabled the Nigerian state to meet its obligations in crude oil production.

“Poverty has been on the rise in the Niger Delta. Environmental degradation has become the order of the day, even as young people have resorted to illegal ways of fractionating crude oil to cater for their families,” the group said.

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The coalition warned that emotions are on the rise and there is growing disenchantment amongst the rank and file of former agitating groups in the region.

The spokesman said: “The Nigerian state has continued to show increasing measures of ungratefulness to the Niger Delta and its people. It is left for us to see how long this malady and malfeasance would continue.

“We believe it would not be for long. We urge those who think that they can undermine the struggle for the liberation and emancipation of the Niger Delta to have a rethink.”

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On the amnesty programme, JRC said it was designed to cater for the expectations of former agitating units of the struggle.

It added that unfortunately, it has become the hotbed of political rent-seekers, shadow workers and hundreds of other non-related Niger Delta interests.

The group alleged that billions of naira meant for stipends of former members of agitating groups was being diverted to private pockets.

It stressed that this was being done in a ruthless, careless and fraudulent scheme that is pursued by dubious stakeholders in the rank and file of the amnesty programme.

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The JRC warned the leadership of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, especially its coordinator, Prof. Charles Dokubo, to beware of a circle of deceivers who are out to exploit and destroy the programme.

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In an online statement, Whyte warned: “The same circle of bandit elements who misled, ill-advised, and blackmail Gen. Paul Boroh have again returned to the corridors of the amnesty programme.

“The same people who wined and dined with General Boro were the same people who set out to grimly blackmail, disgrace and frame him.

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“They have again returned as friends of the amnesty programme to manipulate its new coordinator, Prof. Charles Dokubo.”

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