*Describe threats as empty, bear-footed, treasonable

By Amos Igbebe

The National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators (NCNDE-A), has cautioned the leader of Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF), Alhaji Asari Dokubo, ‎over his utterances against both the President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, and the Nigerian state, saying, those threats issued by him although were “empty and bear-footed”, at the same time were treasonable.

Speaking at a well attended meeting of the Coalition in Ughelli, Delta State, the National President of the group, ‘General’ Israel Akpodoro, expressed worry over the incessant attacks and vituperations from Dokubo on national issues, adding that no section of the country has the power to hold others to ransom and no one is more Nigerian than the other, stating that the Ijaw-born “anarchist” relishes empty threats saying, he should shut up.

Akpodoro stated this on the backdrop of seeming threats issued by Dokubo on the occasion of the commemoration of the late Adaka Boro, in Yenagoa wherein he stated that he was ready to‎ take on the federal government if the interest of the region was not favourably considered by the incoming All Progressives Congress, APC-led administration.

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According to the ex-militant leader, Dokubo was only grandstanding and scared of arrest by the incoming administration over his misdeeds but was quick to add that whatever infringement he might have committed against the law of the land was his personal matter and not that of the region, noting that he should avoid dragging the region into his individual matters for personal interest.

He further stated that it was time for the likes of Dokubo in the Delta region to not only embrace peace but realise that the era of impunity, gangsterism‎, nepotism was over, and that the ex-militants who threw their weights behind the APC and General Buhari before, during and after the elections weren’t slaves as stated by Dokubo but that it was a show of unfettered patriotism, solidarity and love to a nation above self-serving and myopic interests.

The people of Niger Delta region, Akpodoro said, were already aware of the antics of mischief makers in the region who use the regional platform for self enrichment, noting that such era will go with President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration while describing Dokubo as the enemy of peace and progress of the region.

Members of the Coalition were urged by the leadership to go and preach peace in support of the incoming administration, expressing hope that a new dawn of equity in a positive change in the life nation and of Nigerians was around the corner and that they must eschew crimes and criminality for the region to grow, noting that ‎they stand to gain nothing from crisis but peaceful approach to issue was imperative for a better Delta region.

“When the struggle for a better Niger Delta began, it was genuine, focused, purposeful, only to be hijacked by people of narrow interests. We, as a people, have learnt our lessons and as such wouldn’t allow ourselves to be goaded into another round of crisis in our region. As peace loving people, the ex-militants have changed from the war, war approach to a much peaceful and decent approach to achieving results.

“We owe the Nigerian state our patriotism, solidarity, loyalty as long as the federal government gives us an unfettered sense of belonging in the state. Whoever engages in any crime under any guise should answer to his crimes without dragging the region along with him. The Delta region comprises of so many ethnic groupings and not only the ijaws. It therefore follows that Dokubo should speak for those who believe in him amongst his people and not for the entire region.” the ex-militant leader stated.