President Buhari will die if he visits Ogoniland – Niger Delta Avengers; No talks with Niger Delta militants – Army; Buhari & Igbo leaders meet; Niger Delta Avengers destroy another Chevron facility; Military siege in Niger Delta creates pandemonium; Nobody Can Deny Fulani Herdsmen Access To Their Land – Prof. Abdullahi; Saraki’s CCT trial adjourned ‘indefinitely’; What Governor Wike Is Planning To Do To Buhari in Ogoniland Tomorrow – Rivers APC . . .
President Buhari will die if he visits Ogoniland – Niger Delta Avengers
A suspected member of a newly established militant group in Nigeria has warned the life of President Muhammadu Buhari is in danger if he visits the oil-rich Niger Delta region. In a recording sent to IBTimes UK, a man is heard saying during a phone conversation with one of the hosts of UK-based Radio Biafra, that Buhari “should sign his death warrant” before his visit.
Buhari is due to visit some states in south-eastern Nigeria to discuss with local leaders ways to tackle renewed violence in the area.
The president’s planned visit – which is expected to begin on Thursday (2 June 2016) – comes as attacks on oil pipelines blamed on the new group Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) partially halted oil production, and forced Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell to close at least two plants.
“Buhari is trying to visit Ogoniland, but he should sign his death warrant before coming to Port Harcourt or try to visit any state of the Niger Delta community, Biafra land,” the suspected NDA member said during the phone call.
“We are starting a dance he cannot finish. We shall dance like vultures. He [Buhari] has dared to wake a sleeping lion, but I promise him this time around if he tries to step his foot in any community of the Niger Delta, in Biafraland, he will not go back alive. Any Niger Deltan who will try to walk with Buhari shall also go to his grave that day. This is our assurance.”
Buhari & Igbo leaders meet
Twenty-four hours after the bloody Biafra Day protests, President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday met with some Southeast leaders at the Presidential Villa in Abuja. The 18-man delegation, led by former Senate President Ken Nnamani, included All Progressives Congress (APC) National Auditor George Moghalu; Senators Ifeanyi Ararume and Osita Izunaso and former House of Reps member Sharon Ikeazor; former Executive Vice-Chairman of Nigeria Communications Commission (NCC) Ernest Ndukwe.
Also in the team were the APC National Vice-Chairman (Southeast), Emma Eneukwu; Chief Austin Edeze; Dr. Uzoma Obiyo and Mr. Chris Akomas. The leaders arrived in a bus belonging to the Ken Nnamani Leadership Institute. They met privately with the President under the aegis of Southeast Group for Change. The delegation ýdeclined to speak with reporters at the end of the meeting.
Niger Delta Avengers destroy another Chevron facility
Militants at the early hours of yesterday dared the heavy presence of security operatives in the Niger Delta creeks and blew up oil wells belonging to the American oil giant, Chevron. The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) immediately claimed responsibility for the latest sabotage and said the action was to ridicule the Nigerian Army.
The Avengers wrote on their Twitter handle that “with the heavy presence of 100 Gunboats, 4 Warships and Jet Bombers, NDA blew up Chevron Oil Well RMP 23 and RMP 24 3:44am this Morning.
“This is to show the whole world that Nigeria Military is good in harassing innocent Civilians. RMP 24 and RMP 23 are Chevron Swamp Highest producing Wells. #Boom”
Spokesman for the militant group, Muddoch Agbinibo, had specifically warned Chevron not to dare the Avengers by going about to carry out repair the Valve Platform which the group earlier blew up. Agbinibo had stated that no repair should be carried out in any of the facilities which they attacked until their demands were fully met, accusing Chevron of insensitivity to the plight of locals within the creeks.
Agbinibo boasted: “We are capable of bringing down your tank farm if you continue with repair works on the blown valve platform. If you continue to undermine us and go ahead with the repair works you won’t see us coming but we are coming for you.”
No talks with Niger Delta militants – Army
Chief of Army Staff Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai has ruled out negotiations with the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), arguing that the government’s strategy is to first smoke them out of hiding. Gen. Buratai spoke in Abuja yesterday at the “state of the nation conference” organised by the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
Gen. Buratai, who was represented by Major General J. Hamakim, justified the ongoing onslaught against members of the NDA. “I quite agree that dialogue is very important. But, where it is not too obvious that the adversary is ready to come out and talk, you can also force such a person.
“I think that is what the Nigerian Army is trying to do. Yes, we don’t know the group’s leaders for now. That is the only option. Possibly, we have to bring the people out to know who you can dialogue with,” Gen. Buratai said.
He said the activities of the group were affecting the nation’s oil production, which has plummeted to 1.1 million barrels per day.
Military siege in Niger Delta creates pandemonium
As the Nigerian military forces, from land, creeks and air assault various communities in the creeks of Niger Delta in search of oil pipeline saboteurs, scores of fleeing locals especially from within villages of Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State are reportedly trapped in the bushes.
Controlled movement within the creeks by the military has compounded the woes of the fleeing locals as they can no longer get immediate help from friends and relatives outside the hostile area.
Reports are trickling out that fears of mass death of women and children of Oporoza, Kurutie, Kunukunuma, Kokodiagbene and some other villages near the creeks are now very high, as they continue to take refuge in the bushes without food and shelter.
Nobody Can Deny Fulani Herdsmen Access To Their Land – Prof. Abdullahi
The Spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF) and former vice chancellor of Ahmadu Bello University, Prof. Ango Abdullahi, has said, under the Nigerian Constitution, nobody can deny the Fulani herdsmen access to parts of the country.
According to Prof. Abdullahi, the Fulani herdsman is a businessman like any other business person, who should have free movement and free access to the resources that are available for him to run his business.
Prof. Abdullahi said, inter alia:
“And if for any reason, somebody in one section of this country will deny him access then we have to take measures to response to that. We are not saying that if a herdsman encroaches on a farm land . . . and this has been the tradition here for years; when they do some crops get damaged and an assessment is made and they pay. So why all the petty attitude?
I see what is happening today as a new dimension to political and ethnic cleansing that if not carefully handled may lead to other big things. The Herdsman is a Nigerian his rights must be exercised as a Nigerian he has free movement like everybody else to pursue legitimate business and he cannot be denied access to any part of the country.”
– Prof. Ango Abdullahi, Spokesman of the Northern Elders Forum (NEF), & Ex-VC ABU
Saraki’s CCT trial adjourned ‘indefinitely’
The Code of Conduct Tribunal has adjourned the trial of Senate President, Bukola Saraki, indefinitely, after a star witness for the prosecution failed to show up at the court.
The tribunal announced the decision on Wednesday. Mr. Saraki’s trial was on May 25 adjourned till Wednesday, for the cross-examination of the witness, Michael Wetkas, to continue.
The tribunal chairman, Danladi Umar, said the adjournment was to give the court time to hear other cases. The prosecution and defence teams also said the break would allow them prepare their cases better.
A court official, who asked not to be named, told PREMIUM TIMES Mr. Wetkas was attending another trial at the Federal High Court, Abuja. The development is coming a day after an expected ruling on Mr. Saraki’s case at the Court of Appeal, Abuja, stalled after the court failed to form a quorum. The tribunal’s spokesman, Ibrahim Alhassan, later told PREMIUM TIMES that the decision was taken at the instance of the prosecution counsel.
“He said his prime witness one is to appear before another court to testify against another high-profile personality today in Abuja,” Mr. Alhassan said.
“Tribunal chairman was initially resistant to the request but we later asked them to make a formal request in writing and suggest a date which the tribunal would look into and take decision at its convenience. As I am writing you, I don’t have the knowledge of whether the letter has come to CCT or not.”
What Governor Wike Is Planning To Do To Buhari in Ogoniland Tomorrow – Rivers APC
The Rivers State Chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has alleged that the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has concluded plans to sponsor members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) thugs and hoodlums to protest and disrupt the visit of Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari GCFR to Rivers State to flag off the UNEP cleanup of Ogoniland in the Nigerian Niger Delta on Thursday, 2nd June, 2016.
In a statement signed by the Rivers State APC publicity Secretary, the Rivers State opposition said, inter alia:
“It has also come to our notice that the protesters will disguise as citizens who have been mobilised to give Mr. President a rousing welcome on his visit before they will turn on their protests with placards and dangerous weapons with the singular purpose of embarrassing Mr. President, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Senator Magnus Abe, Dr. Dakuku Peterside and the All Progressives Congress, APC, amongst others.”
– Chris Finebone, Rivers State APC publicity Secretary
The party notes that it was solely political desperation that drove the Governor to hurriedly flag-off the dualization of Saakpenwa-Bori-Kono Road last week to deceive Nigerians that Wike cares about Ogoni people after sponsoring militants to kill them.