Ex-militant leader, Africanus Ukparasia, popularly called ‘Gen’ Africa, has alleged that wanted ex-MEND warlord, Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo, created the Niger Delta Avenger group to blackmail government over his cases.
‘Gen’ Africa warned the Federal Government against negotiating with members of the group saying that negotiating with the Avengers is a clear recipe for the emergence of hundreds of armed groups in the creeks of the Niger Delta with the hope of benefiting from criminality.
Ukparasia in a statement alleged that NDA was just a tool for Tompolo to blackmail the federal government to force them to negotiate with him and his sponsors.
Ukparasia revealed how he had alerted security agencies earlier this year of how Tompolo was training ‘boys’ in Ese Ode Local Government Area of Ondo state, and how 19 metal boats mounted with double 200 horse-powered engines each were delivered to prosecute the criminal mission.
According to him, it was published on the national dailies, but the Nigerian security forces did nothing about it till it got out of their hands.
He also accused former President Goodluck Jonathan of allegedly being behind the Niger Delta Avengers.
“Having accepted defeat; Goodluck Jonthan refused to disarm these people who promised to destabilize the government in the event that the APC won. True to that promise, they are destroying the economy of the country by bombing oil and gas pipelines and further polluting the already degraded environment,” he said.
“Former President Goodluck Jonathan should advise his boys to lay down their arms immediately or be held responsible for whatever consequences that would necessarily arise from their criminal activities as I ‘Gen’. Africa and other ex-fighters would no longer allow the Avengers to go unchallenged to destroy oil facilities in our territories.
“The Avengers who are calling for the release of Sambo Dasuki and Nnamdi Kanu are not fighting a Niger Delta cause.”
Ukparasia said unequivocally that the fight by NDA has nothing to do with the betterment of the living conditions of the people of the Niger Delta region but simply because they have lost the juicy multi-billion naira pipeline protection contracts and billions of naira paid to them by oil bloc owners, and coupled with the EFCC cases against them is what is causing the crisis.
He however dismissed the purported threat by the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Front (JNDLF) to bomb the Aso Rock Villa, the Police Headquarters, Defence Headquarters and other national assets in Abuja, Lagos and Kaduna as a mere threat saying that they know each other’s’ capacity in the Niger Delta and that they (JNDLF) should not bite more than they can chew.
Ukparasia warned the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) to steer clear of anything that has to do with the Niger Delta region because their meddlesomeness could cause a major conflict between the two regions.
He said the Niger Delta has not forgotten the ill treatment meted out to the Niger Delta people under the old Eastern Region and therefore warned proponents of Biafra to stop including the Niger Delta in their imaginary map of the Republic of Biafra.
The former militant leader however pledged to work with the Nigerian military to deal decisively with criminals operating in the Niger Delta and warned Dr. Ibe Kachikwu and the federal government not to negotiate with criminals because if they do, they would not be able to curtail the next round of economic sabotage and armed struggle in the region.
He also lashed South South Governors who he alleged had ignorantly indicted themselves for asking the Federal government to drop corruption charges on some militant leaders and politicians in Niger Delta.
“If what we have read in the media is true that the South South Governors also asked the federal government to drop all corruption cases against Henry Okah, his brother, release Ibori from London prison, and every other Nigerians presently under trial, then it should be clear the sponsors of the Avengers.
“We thought that the Niger Delta Avengers were agitating for the development of Niger Delta region. What does Niger Delta struggle got to do with former militants and wanted criminals who have corruption cases with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC)?
“The South South Governors should maintain their reputation and be sincere to agitate for the development of the region instead of asked for the impossible. What they are asking for would even trigger more crisis and we would resist them.
“All ex-agitators captured in the Amnesty Programme have dissociated themselves from the criminal activities of the Niger Delta Avengers, who themselves are beneficiaries of the federal government Amnesty Programme. The Amnesty office has also dissociated itself from them.
“We are going to work with the security agencies to fish them out to face the law,” he vowed.