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Friday, 17 June 2016

Another militant group emerges, threatens to attack Utorogu gas plant

DESPITE federal government’s ceasefire order to allow for dialogue with rampaging Niger Delta militants, another militant group, Utorogu Liberation Movement, on Thursday announced its birth, threatening to attack West Africa’s biggest gas plant, Otorogu Gas Plant in Udu and Ughelli South council Areas of Delta State.

ULM also threatened to blow up oil facilities along the Oil Mining Lease 34 and other oil facilities in the upland parts of the Niger Delta.

The group in a banner message issued by Gen. K. Omovudu and others which was erected near the Motor Park in Out-Jeremi, headquarters of Ughelli South council, also declared support for the Niger Delta Avengers.

Utorogu Gas Plant is Nigeria’s biggest plant which fields the Egbin Power Station, Lagos and others in the country.

A community source who drew the attention of our correspondent to the emergence of the group said the people of the area were already living in confusion and fear.

But the group in their banner mission statement said, “My good people of Utorogun community, Otu-Jeremi, Otor-Udu, Iwkrekan, Ekakpamre and all oil and pipeline communities within this region, this is the voice of ULM in collaboration with outgas force.

“It is a secessionist move. The awareness of things happening in our environment is a means to outline our course of action. The awareness is an agitation for economic balance. We have a common enemy, the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC and ND Western who hate your progress and wish you die in poverty.”

 A military source confirmed knowledge of the group to our correspondent. The source added that residents brought the development to their attention on Thursday morning.

However, an ex-militant and President of National Coalition for Niger Delta Ex-Agitators, NCNDE-A, Israel Akpodoro, has condemned the proposed Federal Government dialogue with the Niger Delta Avengers and other splinter militant groups in the region.

Akpodoro in a statement issued in Warri said if the FG should dialogue with the members of the NDA, it meant it was indirectly in dialogue with ex-militant leader, Mr Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo) whom he said prides himself above the law.

He expressed anger with the President Muhammadu Buhari led government for negotiating from the position of weakness rather than the other way round.

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