An Akwa Ibom state-based militant group, Niger Delta Volunteers, NDV, has given President Muhammadu Buhari 14 days within which to sack and prosecute the Niger Delta Affairs minister, Godswill Akpabio.
The group, in a statement signed on Thursday by General Ekpo Ekpo and Captain Nsidibe Etim, threatened to shut down oil operations in Akwa Ibom if the Federal Government failed to accede to its demands.
The group also urged non-indigenes and foreign oil company workers to leave Akwa Ibom, as it could not guarantee the security of their lives and property, should it decide to strike.
The NDV anchored its position on the massive corruption and acts of vendetta allegedly perpetrated by Mr Akpabio since he assumed supervisory control over the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC.
The militants in the statement listed their demands including the dissolution/sack of the Interim Management Committee, IMC and the reconstitution of the NDDC board.
They said the death of Ibanga Etang, the executive director of finance and administration in the IMC of NDDC was suspect and therefore insisted that a full investigation be carried out to unravel the root cause of the director’s death.
The group also urged non-indigenes and oil company workers to leave Akwa Ibom as the group cannot guarantee the security of their lives and property should they decide to strike.
The statement reads, “after due consultation with elders, youth leaders and other stakeholders across Akwa Ibom State, Niger Delta hereby demand for the immediate removal/prosecution of the minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio for alleged misconduct and abuse of office, the dissolution of the interim management committee of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, and reconstitution of a substantive board of the commission.
“It will be recalled that on his assumption of office, he immediately influenced the redeployment of the erstwhile minister of state in the ministry, Festus Keyamo, SAN, who he perceived would constitute be a big barrier to his nefarious activities, and the eventual transfer of supervisory powers over NDDC.
“On a number of occasions, Mr Akpabio has been accused of having two major missions to accomplish as Minister of Niger Delta Affairs.
“First as an individual noted for possessing an ‘unforgiving spirit’ he is alleged to be moving on a well-designed path to take revenge on some of those who had crossed his path at one point in time or another and who happened to have been associated with the NDDC as current or past contractors or staff.
“Second, known for his uncanny crave for amassing unquantifiable amount of wealth, the Akwa Ibom State-born politician is alleged to have planted surrogates and puppets who are serving as conduit pipes for the illegal movement of funds through phantom contract awards and unauthorized payments”.
They accused Mr Akpabio of being responsible for militants in Akwa Ibom not benefiting maximally from the amnesty programme of the Federal government.