Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators (CNDA) is demanding the arrest of an Islamic cleric, Sheikh Abubakar Gumi, and Governor Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State over their stance on bandits and armed herders in the country.
The John Dukku-led group, comprising all major militant groups in the Niger Delta, alleged that the actions and utterances of the duo were indicative that they had been financing banditry and armed herdsmen in the country.
It condemned any form of negotiation with bandits, gun-carrying herdsmen, kidnappers and Boko Haram leaders and others terrorising innocent citizens across the country, declaring that such acts amounted to nothing but criminality.
The coalition further frowned on recent outbursts and suggestions by some prominent figures from the northern part of the country, calling on northerners to be well-armed to defend themselves.
“CNDA considered it erroneous to compare bandits, Boko Haram members and herdsmen to Niger Delta militants, who had, over the years, been subjected to discrimination and deprivation, while their resources were used for the development of other regions in the country.
“It is, therefore, out of place to seek amnesty for killers and abductors of innocent school children and citizens simply because some militants in the Niger Delta had been given amnesty,” the group added.
Giving northerners 30 days to withdraw the food blockade threat, the agitators threatened to retaliate by cutting off all the oil pipelines supplying oil and gas to northern Nigeria, and block all tankers and other vehicles from transporting products to the region.
They also threatened to make sure that oil licences belonging to the northerners were revoked after the expiration of the ultimatum.
Dukku noted: “For Sheikh Ahmad Abubakar Mahmud Gumi to accept in the first place to negotiate with ‘terrorists’ who are enemies of the Nigerian state, and also recommend that government should grant the criminals amnesty for no just or reasonable cause, means that he is an integral part of the group.”