A new twist was added to the fuel subsidy removal controversy as former leaders of Niger Delta agitators said they have uncovered a grand conspiracy by some unnamed powerful Nigerians to assassinate President Goodluck Jonathan and key security personnel from the region.
Speaking under the aegis of Leaders of the Niger Delta, the group at a news conference in Abuja yesterday named those penciled down for elimination as including the Chief of Army Staff, Gen. Ihejirika, Senate President David Mark and the National Security Adviser, Gen. Owoye Azazi (rtd.).
In a statement read by the President of Ijaw Youth Council, Mr. Miabiye Kuromiama, the group vowed that it would not watch idly as “disgruntled elements” work behind the scene to truncate the administration of President Jonathan. Kuromiama, who was accompanied to the briefing by different representatives of the Ijaw Nations including Asari Dokubo (Ijaw Rivers), Elder Ogoriba (Ijaw Bayelsa), Shole Mese (Itsekiri), Felix Tuodolor (Izon Delta) and Imo Iloko (Ibibio) among others, urged for a peaceful renegotiation of the nation’s corporate existence instead of bloody separation.
He noted that the two peaceful opportunities that could be exploited by the leaders include (a) re-negotiating a new basis of our continued corporate co-existence as a nation and (b) Negotiate a peaceful dissolution of the Nigerian State as was the case with USSR, Ethiopia, and Czechoslovakia.
He said: “Leaders of the Niger Delta involved in the long struggles to re-invent and revive the dire political and socio-economic conditions of this country Nigeria, draw the attention of all Nigerians and the Global Community to an advanced conspiracy and plot to destabilise and disintegrate the country in the coming days and weeks.
“The promoters of this plot seek to achieve their aims by assassinating the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan and also eliminate very senior military and security officers from the South and Middle Belt including and particularly the Chief of Army Staff Gen. Ihejirika, the Senate President David Mark and the National Security Adviser Gen. Owoye Azazi (rtd).”
Those identified in this sinister plot include retired senior military and security officers who are working quietly with some serving officers, some “powerful” opportunistic businessmen who benefit from existing incentives for corruption and profiteering in the economy including current subsidy on PMS otherwise call petrol and whose business is threatened by current government policy.
”Also in Alliance with them are corrupt and disgruntled politicians who are for once currently outside the corridors of Nigeria’s political power reality after over 40 years of monopolisng power and manipulating the people. This plot is now almost perfected by certain disgruntled elements in Nigeria and their co-conspirators.
He went on: “Having been aware and studying the development of the situation since the emergence of a Niger Delta son in the leadership of this country, we have resolved to take serious steps to guarantee the security and survival of our peoples in the Niger’’
‘’We also advise all Nigerians to be aware of this plot, its deeper motivations, implications and the consequences that will befall all of us. Accordingly, we strongly and unequivocally warn that a plot against the life of Mr. President and derailment of this government is likely to spell disaster for this country and bring untold and sustained hardship to the masses far worse than any temporary pains of a deregulated down-stream petroleum sector is likely to cause.
“We have always been aware, as many other Nigerian and the world over, that the struggle for power and control of government in Nigeria by political forces in the name of ethnic, religious, regional or group based interest has been to access and control the oil and gas resources from the Niger Delta by this kind of persons.
”Or do we allow the country to slide into a bloody disintegration of Africa and the Black race’s largest democracy, as did Sudan and Yugoslavia? As it appears now, the Sudan and Yugoslavia option are now very apparent and fearful looming as the anarchy and potential loss of innocent lives including plans to assassinate or overthrow the government of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan portrays. This is totally unnecessary.
”If and when the plan is executed, Niger Delta nations and peoples know exactly what steps to take and will not hesitate to progress with necessary measures towards such steps forthwith.”