Niger Delta militants have issued an October 1 ultimatum for northerners to leave their region, in response to the quit notice given to the Igbo by some Arewa youth groups.
The militants also said the federal government should hand over all oil blocs controlled by northerners to the people of Niger Delta.
In a joint statement released on Friday, the coalition of Niger Delta militants also said they will declare the independence of the region on October 1.
A communiqué was signed to this effect by ‘General’ John Duku (Niger Delta Watchdogs and Convener: Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators), ‘General’ Ekpo Ekpo (Niger Delta Volunteers), ‘General’ Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors), and ‘Major-Gen.’ Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters), ‘Major-Gen.’ Asukwo Henshaw (Bakassi Freedom Fighters), ‘Major-Gen.’ Ibinabo Horsfall (Niger Delta Movement for Justice), ‘Major-Gen.’ Duke Emmanson (Niger Delta Fighters Network), and ‘Major-Gen.’ Inibeghe Adams (Niger Delta Freedom Mandate).
“A coalition of the Niger Delta militants met today in Port Harcourt to review the recent call by the Arewa Youths groups that the Ndigbo should vacate all the Northern states within three months,” it read.
“We see the declaration by Arewa Youths as a declaration which the northern elders, leaders, political elite, security heads from the North and governors were fully aware of .
“We demand 100 per cent control of our resources. We demand that the Federal Government should hand over all oil blocs owned by northerners to Niger Delta indigenes. All the companies operating in such oil blocs/wells should vacate within three months.”
The militants further said that the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should be relocated to the Niger Delta region.
“The Federal Government should immediately relocate NNPC and all the offices that have to do with oil/gas sector back to Niger Delta states and immediately replace the Group Managing Director with an indigene of Niger Delta,” the communique further read.
“All northern indigenes working in NNPC and any other board that has anything to do with oil/gas should be sacked with immediate effect.
“We demand an independent and sovereign Republic of Niger Delta. We are tired of living with the North under Nigeria. We are tired of the President’s sentiments against the Niger Delta people.
“The President can have time to receive the Chibok girls but could not have time to meet with the representatives of the Niger Delta agitators. Our money has been used to fund Boko Haram, a problem created by the Northerners in order to use it as conduit pipe to siphon the resources of Niger Delta.
“On October 1, 2017 we shall declare our independence come rain, come shine. We shall take our destiny in our hands and free ourselves from the slavery of the North as they are tired of one Nigeria.
“From October 1, 2017, we don’t want to see any northerner close to (the) Niger Delta; any attempt to penetrate shall meet fierce resistance. This time, we are not going to play defence, but attack.”