By NBF News

True federalism
Militants resume attacks
•'Expect more hostilities'
•I'm a militant forever -Dokubo Asari
By Daniel Alabrah
Sunday, March 07, 2010
Last Wednesday's attack on an Agip facility in Bayelsa State could just signal the resumption of full-scale hostilities in the Niger Delta.

Although the military Joint Task Force (JTF) in the region has dismissed it as a hoax, a Sunday Sun impeccable source warned that the attack on the Agip Tura Manifold linking Tebidaba, Obama and the Brass Tank Farm would be 'a child's play' when the real attacks begin.

The Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC) of Niger Delta claimed responsibility for sabotaging of the facility operated by the Italian oil giants.

The group, believed to be an offshoot of the Cynthia Whyte-led Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC), equally claimed that on March 2, its troops attacked and blew up the Kokori Flow Station operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) at Erhoike community in Delta State.

'These are effective follow-ups to earlier actions in February signaling the commencement of the current lap of the Niger Delta independence struggle. Our strategy is to reduce the export capacity of the occupation Nigerian State to zero and weaken their financial strength before our guerilla army will be unleashed to chase them out of our territory,' its spokesperson, Bakabio Walter, had said in an online statement mailed to Sunday Sun .

It was, however, gathered that the fresh onslaught would not be for political reasons, particularly with regards to the power play in the Presidency.

Rather, pressure would again be exerted on oil facilities and oil workers in the Niger Delta in a determined push for true federalism and resource control.

Sunday Sun learnt that although the main militia group in the region, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), had no links with the recent attack, it has continued to insist on true federalism and resource control as its irreducible demand for peace in the region.

Said our source: 'The Nigerian government has not seen anything yet. This (the Agip attack) is just child's play. When we begin, they will know we are not joking.

'All we want is our land and we will continue to push for resource control or nothing. There will be no guarantee of peace in the region until the government does what is right, and that is to give the people power over the resources in their land,' the unrepentant militant said.

Denouncing the post-amnesty programme of the government as a charade, the source, who preferred anonymity, also informed that the new phase of the struggle in the region would have nothing to do with any individual or the 2011 general election.

'Our struggle is patriotic and we cannot be bought over by politicians. Those who surrendered their arms for political gains can be used in 2011, but not us. We remain resolute on a better Niger Delta for our people,' the source said. Sunday Sun had last week exclusively reported that feelers from the region indicated that hostilities could broke out soon.

Exiled leader of the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Front (NDPVF), Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, had told Sunday Sun that the amnesty had failed terribly and that fresh agitation was imminent in the Niger Delta.

Dokubo-Asari, who spoke in an interview at the venue of a Niger Delta peace conference at The Hague, Netherlands, vowed never to renounce armed struggle.

'I remain committed to armed struggle as the only hope of freedom for my people. I can never renounce it. I'm an Ijaw man and for as long as my people continue to suffer under this unjust system and government, I won't stop fighting,' he said.

Reminded that he fled the country and has been on self-exile in the past seven months, the NDPVF leader said he needed to be alive to continue his revolutionary struggle.

'Yes, I had to stay out of the country when I got information that the Nigerian government was after my life, and I have been away for seven months now. I don't know when I will return but I know it is not anytime soon.

'In the history of revolutionary struggle all over the world, being on exile does not stop any genuine cause. In fact, it creates room for better planning and strategizing,' Dokubo-Asari said.