Niger Delta Avengers yesterday, June 13, gave a 72-hour warning to seven governors to release all pro-Biafra activists detained in various military and police facilities or be prepared for trouble.
This is as Chief Edwin Clark, First Republic Federal Commissioner for Information, yesterday took former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, to the cleaners for denigrating Niger Delta leaders over the resurgence of activities of militants in the region.
Brig-Gen Mudoch Agbinibo, spokesman for the group, in a statement named the governors as Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia State), Willie Obiano (Anambra), Henry Seriake Dickson (Beyelsa), Ifeanyi Okowa (Delta), Dave Umahi (Ebonyi), Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu) and Roachas Okorocha (Imo).
This is coming at a time when the leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND, Government Tompolo, has urged the group to toe the path of dialogue by setting up a committee to interface with the federal government.
The statement read: “We request the immediate release of all pro-Biafra activists held in your various police/military custody. You are hereby given 72 hours to release them or risk your convoys, police station, military base and government offices being attacked.”
The spokesman further said that the public should note that members of the militant group were not negotiating with anybody and nobody was representing it, even as he warned that in 48 hours, a video clip showing their arms and the targeted areas would be released
“All strike team already in position awaiting command,” he said.
Clark blasts Abdullahi Adamu
Meanwhile, Chief Edwin Clark yesterday lashed at Senator Abdullahi Adamu over his comments against Niger Delta leader over the resurgence of militancy in the Niger Delta.
Reacting to allegations by Senator Adamu that Chief Clark and other Niger Delta elders were showing lackadaisical attitude in stopping the militants from bombing oil installations, the Ijaw leader said the former governor spoke out of sheer ignorance and mischief.
He emphasised that Senator Adamu lied as he (Chief Clark) had played vital role in the zone and still playing same role expected of a leader of his status.
A statement by Chief Clark’s legal aide, Barrister Oludotun Sowemimo, faulted the claim, saying the elder statesman had on many occasions cautioned the perpetrators.
He said, “Our attention has been drawn to an interview conducted on Silverbird Television between the hours of 9pm to 10pm on the 9th of June, 2016, by the former governor of Nasarawa State, Senator Abdullahi Adamu, where he made unsavoury and uncomplimentary statements against the person of Chief Edwin Clark who is currently in London undergoing his annual medical check up.
“In the said interview, Senator Abdullahi Adamu in trying to disparage the credibility of Chief Edwin Clark and other leaders of the Niger Delta, called them names and gave an impression that Chief Clark had done nothing to resolve the crisis in the Niger Delta.
“This is a blatant lie to further discredit, ridicule the personality of our leader in the eyes of reasonable and educated Nigerians.
“It is on record that Chief Edwin Clark took the risks in entering the jungle dens of the creeks and high seas in the very tense days of the President Olusegun Obasanjo and the late Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua administration to get the militants to lay down their arms. It paid off and the country benefited from the outcome, the Amnesty Programme now being casually treated with grave potential consequences. This is a mischievous plot on the part of the former governor of Nasarawa State to ridicule the Niger Delta leaders.
“It is on record that Chief Clark on 17th May, 2016, strongly called and appealed on the Niger Delta Avengers and any other groups of like minds to desist forthwith from their activities and embrace dialogue as the best means of having their grievances assuaged,” the statement read.
Reiterating his support for the corruption war of President Muhammadu Buhari, he said the fight should be fought to the end.
“Chief Clark once again is using this medium to call on the Niger Delta Avengers and other groups to stop all activities inimical to pipeline and oil facilities in the Niger Delta and embrace the three weeks ceasefire offered by this administration to embrace dialogue,” he concluded.