The Reformed Egbesu Boys of Niger Delta have declared a cessation on hostilities against the Federal Government of Nigeria. The Militant group also stated that it is not on the same page with Niger Delta Avengers, NDA and the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force, JNDLF as regards their mode of operation.
The Reformed Egbesu Boys affirmed that it agrees with the JNDLF on cessation of hostilities, but its bone of contention was on the release of leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, and former National Security Adviser, NSA, Col. Sambo Dasuki (retd), among other conditions.
The group also warned embattled militant leader Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo and Ateke Tom and also General Boyloaf and other militant leaders “not to meddle in this ongoing process”, in reference to negotiations with the Federal Government.
Leaders of the group, General Tony Alagbakeriowei and Commander Ebi Abakoromor, in a statement, declared “We align ourselves with the unilateral declaration of cessation of hostilities on oil and gas assets in the Niger Delta by various militant organizations. “We are in total support of the Federal Government option of dialogue, taking into cognizance the numerous appeals from both local and international platforms.
“In as much as we have considered this option, we wish to reaffirm that the Ijaws have never been a conquered people.
“The Reformed Egbesu Boys of Niger Delta wishes to state that we are not comfortable with some aspects of the demands contained in the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Forces as published in the mass media and the Avengers. The group further added that it Disagrees with Avengers, JNDLF on Kanu, Dasuki adding that “The Niger Delta agitation is not about persons as portrayed in the said publication.
The Ijaw agitation has always been issues of resource control and true federalism and inequality where our farmlands have been divided into oil blocks among Nigerians to the exclusion of the Ijaws. “Therefore, the legitimate agitation of the Ijaw ethnic nationality has nothing to do with Sambo Dasuki and Nnamdi Kanu, though we sympathize with them.”
“The former commander of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, Government Ekpemupolo, is one of the symbols of our struggle. “We strongly recommend that a political solution be explored by the negotiation team to resolve his issues with the Federal Government.”
Reformed Egbesu demands For peace to hold way, it tabled seven demands before government, including commencement of academic activities at the Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State and restructuring of the Amnesty programme with upward review of funding to accommodate more beneficiaries.
The group further added that the Coordinator of the Amnesty programme and Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta, Brig.-Gen. Paul Boroh (retd),should be sacked on the grounds that ” he lacked the experience to effectively coordinate the programme”.
“We, therefore, pass a vote of no confidence on him,” the group said.
In cementing its stand, the group demanded that the Federal Government should
1. Increase the derivation percentage to 50% and payment of 50% directly to the communities through appropriate structures.
2. Release of all persons currently in detention facilities, dropping and pardoning of persons detained and creation of Niger Delta Investment and Development Bank.
Adding that “Pipeline surveillance contracts should be reserved for the current agitating youths because Nigeria cannot safeguard these facilities; and the oil majors and related agencies, such as NNPC, PTDF, NPDC and NSPIMS should create 6,000 job slots.”
“In conclusion, we wish to reaffirm the Ijaw position of true federalism within a restructured state and the Federal Government should immediately activate the necessary platform”.
We warn the Federal Government to be sincere and committed to the peace process and to state that any deviation would lead to resumption of hostilities.”