Onoghen trial: Niger Delta militants threaten showdown 



About the time governors of the South-South asked the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Walter Onoghen, to boycott his trial this Monday, a coalition of Niger Delta militants have vowed to shut down the country if the Federal Government continues the planned arraignment.

While veteran lawyer, Prof. Its Sagay, has said that the arraignment is in order, other legal luminaries such as Chief Afe Babalola and Mr Femi Falana have said it was illegal, insisting that due process demand the allegation of non-declaration of asset levelled against the CJN be first referred to the Nigerian Judicial Council.

In a statement on Sunday, the militant threatened to shut down operations of oil matters in the region should the CCT advance the trial.

They said in a  statement, “The General Assembly of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators is shocked to learn about the arraignment of the Chief Justice of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Justice Walter Omnoghen over allegations of his false declaration of assets based on a petition written by one Mr. Dennis Aghanya of the Anti-Corruption and Research Based Data Initiative.

In the first instance, President Muhammadu Buhari was not disposed to Justice Omnoghens appointment to this position which is why he refused to confirm the appointment after so many months of serving in Acting capacity. It was during the period of his sickness while in Britain that the Acting President Prof. Osinbajo confirmed the appointment. We wish to also recall that in August last year, Mr. Matthew Seiyefa of Bayelsa State who was the most senior and most qualified officer at the time was appointed to the position of Acting Director-General of the Department of State Security by Prof. Osinbajo, only to be replaced with a retired and junior officer to Mr. Seiyefa, Mr. Yusuf Magji Bichi by President Buhari as soon as he resumed duties. We hereby vehemently resist any attempt to remove CJN Walter Omnoghen from office.

These go to confirm that there is a high level of hatred, injustice, discrimination and marginalization of the Niger Delta region by the APC-led government over the past three years.

Before the 2015 elections, we can recall several events that took place in the political arena which can now be confirmed were done to discredit the government of President Goodluck Jonathan. Nationwide protests in 2012 led by top labour leaders and Civil Rights activists including the current APC National Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole, Professor Wole Soyinka, Femi Falana, and Festus Keyamo greeted the government of the day against the removal of oil subsidy and resultant increases in the pump prices of the nations petroleum products. After much persistence, government had to bow to the will of the people.

During the campaign for re-election in 2015, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan a South South indigene was attacked in Bauchi state, we also witnessed how Northerners and Yorubas embarrassed him, even those he trusted betrayed him and did everything possible to remove him because he is from a minority tribe in Niger Delta. Therefore, we want to inform Nigerians and the International Community that any attempt for President Buhari to continue in office beyond May 2019 will be resisted by all means necessary. If they succeed in rigging election and bring back Buhari, then Nigeria should prepare to exist without the Niger Delta oil, Niger Delta will not be part of Nigeria anymore. The Northerners should also prepare to leave the Niger Delta if President Buhari contiue beyond May 2019; we are prepared to strike once and for all and declare our Sovereign Niger Delta Republic.
What, however, surprises us is the fact that the same people and groups that protested against the petroleum subsidy removal and increases in prices of the petroleum products are the ones who gave President Buhari the nod to commence the subsidy removal without any record of protests. This goes to confirm without any iota of doubt, that the protests against the Jonathan administration were embarked upon basically because he is from the Niger Delta region. Similarly, protests against the Chibok Girls abduction, and complaints about widespread corruption, high prices of commodity items, etc were the order of the day. They declared that they needed change; thus, they ganged up, humiliated and betrayed Jonathan out of office and brought President Buhari to power. But today the much desired changed has metamorphosed into chains and those so called activists and civil rights protagonists are keeping mum even in the face of human rights abuses, and deployment of draconian laws reminiscent of the military era.

Today, the prices of items have increased geometrically and basic household items are no longer affordable to teeming Nigerians. Price of petrol is now N145 per litre as against N87 during Jonathans regime. A Bag of Rice now costs between N17,000 and N18,000 as against N7,000 – N8,000 during the immediate past regime.

Even though Boko Haram insurgency was prominent during Jonathans regime, it is now beyond control. We understand that Governor Shettima of Borno who was against the use of military action against the insurgents by the then Government on the pretext that innocent and harmless citizens shall be killed in the military operations, is now crying that the insurgency is beyond him. As soon as APC government came into power in 2015, Fulani Herdsmen started killings; today Fulani Herdsmen have killed uncountable number of Nigerians, burn villages, maim and rape women with impunity without any arrest or prosecution. Today the insecurity in the country has degenerated to a point where people can no longer sleep with their eyes closed, the situation is same in Borno, Yobe, Zamfara including Katsina state, the home of President Buhari. If President Buhari cannot secure his own people in Katsina State, how can he secure the whole Nigeria?

Of course, he and his fellow tribalists should remember that whatever goes round, comes around. Even the so called fight against corruption is very selective, and ridiculously those who are branding the past PDP-led government as the most corrupt are those who had been part of the government since 1999 as governors, legislators, political appointees, etc., but today they are not ashamed to blame the government of which they were an integral part, for the alleged failures and bastadization of the economy. People like former Speaker and Governor Rotimi Amaechi, now Buharis Campaign Director General and former Governor now Senator, Godswill Akpabio who had corruptly enriched themselves during their tenures have now found the APC their safe heaven.

The nations poverty index has skyrocketed, the rate of unemployment has increased. Today, Buhari is busy trying to extradite erstwhile Petroleum Minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke from London, while under his very nose, billions of naira are being drained fraudulently by the Aso Rock Cabal and his political appointees and key office holders across the nation. The NNPC has become a conduit pipe for siphoning the nations financial resources. But to President Buhari and the Cabal, nothing bad is happening in the governments led by the APC.the thieves are in the PDP-ruled States. Benue, Rivers and Akwa Ibom States must be constantly harassed and their accounts frozen because they are not APC. A recent case in point is the alleged corruption charge with admissible evidence leveled against Governor Ganduje of Kano State, who PMB has already declared to be the best Governor in Nigeria.

Nigeria is in a confused state as recently declared by the United States of America. APC is prepared to win the forthcoming elections by force. They have refused to campaign because they have nothing to tell the people about the past three years of their governance. Thus, they are preparing to win by any means through Vote Buying and falsification of election results through INEC and Security Agencies. We have now come to the conclusion that if Buhari returns to power the country will no longer be safe. If Nigeria will remain as one indivisible unit, it will have to survive without the Niger Delta crude oil. We call on those who ganged up, protested and humiliated Goodluck Jonathan out of office, to rise up and do same to President Muhammadu Buhari whose government is the worst in the history of governance in the country.

It is quite unfortunate that recently the Buhari-led APC government has resorted to harassment and intimidation of opposition with impunity, it is a glaring fact that the massive corruption currently going on in the APC led government has placed Nigeria as one of the worlds most corrupt country, yet Buhari is celebrating corrupt officials as long as they are APC members.

We therefore want to state categorically that if the Presidency failed to reverse it harassment against the CJN, we will have no other option than to mobilize all the Niger Delta fighters and commence serious actions that would shake the country and the whole world; we shall shut down all the oil wells in the Niger Delta. We also call on all the Northerners and Yorubas who own oil wells in the Niger Delta to prepare to vacate immediately, we also want to warn our Niger Delta brothers who are working for Buhari to watch their back and know that we are watching them and their family members, we warn them to stop campaigning for Buhari in the Niger Delta. Be warned.”


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