Niger Delta Avengers Issues Death Threat To Buhari | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Niger Delta Avengers Issues Death Threat To Buhari

Posted: Jun 2, 2016 at 4:30 am   /   by   /   comments (0)


Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), the new militant group, has been quoted by International Business Times UK as vowing to kill President Muhammadu Buhari as he is billed to make an official visit today to Rivers State.

But the Nigerian military has dismissed the threat, describing members of the militant group as criminals. “Buhari can go wherever he wants”, says Brigadier-General Rabe Abubakar, Director, Defence Information.

President Buhari is due to be in Rivers State where he is to launch the project for the clean-up of the degraded land of Ogoni covering four local government areas, as recommended in the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report.

The threat on the president’s life followed an earlier attack on two Chevron facilities in Warri in the early hours of Wednesday, which the militant group had claimed responsibility. The attacks on oil pipelines blamed on the Niger Delta Avengers had halted oil production, and forced Chevron and Shell to close at least two plants.

A suspected member of the Niger Delta Avengers had warned that the life of President Buhari was in danger if he went ahead with his planned visit to the region.

The report of the militants’ threat to kill the president went viral Wednesday on the social media, after the news broke in the foreign medium.

International Business Times UK, quoting from a recorded voice, claims 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 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.”

The man also condemned the fact that Nigerian security forces opened fire on pro-Biafran demonstrators during commemorations to pay homage to the victims of the 1967-1970 Civil War, also known as Biafran War, on Monday (30 May 2016).

Police confirmed the deaths of 10 protesters and two police officers during clashes in Anambra State, claiming demonstrators were armed, but pro-Biafrans denied the allegations.

“The Nigerian government shot and killed our brothers. They showed us as the monsters,” the man said. He then urged all pro-Biafrans to pray for their leader, Nnamdi Kanu, director of Radio Biafra and leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB), who is standing trial on six counts of treasonable felony.

Niger Delta Avengers are the latest militant group to wage war against the Nigerian government, having accused the ruling party of marginalising people in the oil-rich Niger Delta

Reacting to threat to the president’s life, Brigadier General Abubakar, told International Business Times UK that the government does not perceive NDA as a threat. “Niger Delta is part of Nigeria and will remain part of Nigeria for life. Buhari is the president, he is number one, he can go anywhere he wants,” he said.

“(The) NDA are just criminals and we are treating them as criminals. We are not being intimidated, we remain focussed to ensure security in the country and that Nigeria remains one. Nobody is above the interest of the country,” he continued.

“No nation can tolerate an individual group causing havoc and advocating separation. There are measures in our constitution to ensure this will not happen. We cannot and will not tolerate what these people are doing. In the long run, they will surely pay for what they have done.”

As expected, Ogoni kingdom is electrified as the four local government areas that make up that entity prepares for the first official visit of President Muhammadu Buhari for the flag-off of the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) report today.

Before now, there have been series of meetings by politicians particularly of the major two political parties from Ogoni area: All Progressives Congress (APC) at the center and Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state.

This much was attested to by the former senator who represented the Rivers South East Senatorial District, Senator Magnus Abe when he said that the implementation of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report in Ogoni land was the fulfillment of APC campaign promise.

Abe frowned at a situation where anytime credit is given to APC and himself for the project, the state chapter of PDP would say that the implementation should not be politicised.

“What is disturbing to me now is that now that we are set to implement the report, every time I open my mouth and say something, you will hear people say don’t politicise the report and I ask what is the politicisation of the UNEP report?”