In Niger Delta: Militants threaten to resume fresh attacks on Sept 31
The ultimatum by PANDEF was withdrawn after the group met with government representatives led by Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo.
On Sunday, August 6, 2017, a new militant group called the Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders announced decision to resume fresh attacks on September 31, 2017.
In a report by Punch, the new militant group noted that it would begin fresh attacks because the government is yet to make true its promises while Edwin Clark and Pan Niger Delta Forum are failing the region.
“Our grievance with government is that after the consolatory statement of the government by Professor Osinbajo, nothing is on ground to show sincerity by government,” the Crusaders spokesman said in a statement.
Meanwhile, the PANDEF group had issued a November 1, 2017 ultimatum, after Clark said if its demands aren’t met it will pull out of peace talks with government.
“The boys are impatient and they have been disturbing me with a series of telephone calls and messages, with some of them even giving notices to disown us,” Clark had said.
However, the ultimatum was withdrawn after the group met with government representatives led by Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday, August 3, 2017.
Clark said: “No more ultimatum. We agreed on many things. We are satisfied. We have agreed to work together…”
The presidency said in a statement that long-standing grievances were being addressed, including the opening of the maritime university by next year and approval of two modular refineries for each of the states in the region.
The annual budget for ex-rebels was doubled while funds have also been approved for the clean-up of devastated Ogoniland.
Gail Anderson, lead Nigeria analyst at energy consulting firm Wood Mackenzie, simply said the militants are only concerned with cash inflow and as long as the tap is opened, there will be relative peace.
He said: “Government announced in March there will be $10 billion of investment in the Niger Delta, but of course money is tight and it will be a while before people notice any investment, so there is bound to be pressure,.
“As long as money keeps flowing then the militants will stay quiet. If the money stops flowing then things could flare up again.”
Despite the renewed talks between the FG and Edwin Clark led PANDEF, some militants are already calling for an immediate end to the negotiations and a return to violence
AFP investigations showed that between April 2017 to July 2017, five marine policemen and seven soldiers spread across the Niger delta have been killed during attacks, while at least 15 have been injured.