An Assembly of Niger-Delta militants, led by the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, RNDA, and nine other militant groups have warned governors of the South-South to stop playing politics with the arraignment of Chief Justice of Nigeria, CJN, Walter Onnoghen over false asset declaration charges.
Rising from a meeting with various unit commanders in Delta State, RNDA, led by self-styled “Major- General” John Mark Ezonebi, popularly called Obama, also urged President Muhammadu Buhari and the Presidency to ignore and disregard the purported empty threat by other youths of the region to attack oil facilities and shutdown the country.
It described them as “criminal elements, who do not exist anywhere in the creek of Niger Delta and being used by some disgruntled looters of our national treasury, who are supporters of Atiku/PDP Presidential Movement.”
The RNDA, warned South-South governors “not to politicize the issue of non-declaration of assets by the CJN, who is the head of an arm of government saddled with the responsibility of interpreting the constitution, more so when the petitioner alleged that $3 million was found in one of his foreign accounts.
The group said, “It is a grievous criminal offence being committed against his highly exalted office, according to the sections prescribed in the Code of Conduct Bureau established in the 1999 constitution as amended. “The South-South governors made up more of PDP governors should not support any form of illegality and should not compromise corruption allegations on grounds of ethnicity, but look at the matter based on its merits and holistically.
“As a group, RNDA is not surprised at the stand of the South-South governors on this matter because their mismanagement of resources has led to the under-development of the Niger Delta. “We expect the South-South governors to join hands with Mr President to fight corruption because corruption is the reason the region is not developed over the years, despite its huge economic importance to the country, particularly during PDP’s wasted years of misrule, RNDA added.
“More so, the governors of the Niger Delta have not been able to account for the 13 per cent derivation funds from the proceeds of crude oil, which has amounted to trillions of naira that run into the pockets of governors and their cronies in foreign accounts abroad.
“In the first place, the funds are meant for direct development of the oil producing communities in the creek of Niger Delta. But the story is a sad tale against the constitutional provisions of this 13 per cent funds. At the appropriate time, when we get to the bridge, we are going to address this issue and the abnormalities will be corrected.”
Another militant group in the Niger-Delta region, known as the 21st Century Youths for Restructuring, had threatened to attack oil facilities in the creeks if the Federal Government did not stop the move to dock the Chief Justice of Nigerian, CJN, Justice Walter Onnoghen, over alleged failure to declare his assets.
The self-styled 21st Century Youths, in a statement issued by its leader, “General” Izon Ebi, described the six-count charge the federal government preferred against Justice Onnoghen by the Code of Conduct Tribunal bordering on false declaration of assets as another act of dictatorship.
Recall that a similar group, Watchdogs and Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators, had vowed to shut down Nigeria if the Federal Government fails to withdraw its charges against the CJN Onnoghen.
Gen. Ebi declared: “Niger Delta people want restructuring and anything short of allowing our people to freely exercise their rights and choose leaders that will restructure Nigeria to meet modern and current reality will give us no choice but to stop the activities of oil exploration and exploitation in our land and ocean.
“The current harassment, intimidation, assassination attempt, forcible dismissal and retirement of distinguished personalities and leaders of the Niger Delta from the affairs of this country is no more acceptable. “Our wealth will not be allowed to be used freely to run and sustain a system and a country that does not appreciate and respect the people whose wealth is used to sustain this country called Nigeria.
“The six-count charge the federal government preferred against Justice Onnoghen by the Code of Conduct Tribunal bordering on false declaration of assets is another act of dictatorship.
“This unfortunate action of the APC and President Buhari’s administration to intimidate the judiciary and undermine the rule of law and separation of power in our democracy is unacceptable in this 21st century.
“It is now clear to all Nigerians that this administration is completely out of tune with the reality and situation we find ourselves concerning the 2019 general election and the position of Niger Delta people whose lives and existence are being threatened by the activities of oil exploration and the insensitivity of the federal government” the statement added.