The current travail of the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, appears to have woken the Niger Delta militants.
The Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators on Sunday vowed to resume attacks on oil wells in the region should the federal government go ahead with the trial of Onnoghen over alleged asset declaration offence.
The CJN is slated to be arraigned today (Monday) before the Code of Conduct Tribunal (CCT) over the alleged offence.
The coalition of militants, said in a statement that they were stunned with the development and argued that Onnoghen was being persecuted because he was from the Niger Delta.
According to the militant groups, the petition against Onnoghen was plotted by the Presidency to forcefully push him out as the CJN and replace him with a northerner.
The groups’ statement was signed by John Duku of the Niger Delta Watchdogs and Convener, Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators; Ekpo Ekpo of the Niger Delta Volunteers; Simply Benjamin (Bakassi Strike Force); Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors); Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters); and Asukwo Henshaw (Bakassi Freedom Fighters.
They said, “In the first instance, President Muhammadu Buhari was not disposed to Justice Onnoghen’s appointment to this position, which was why he refused to confirm the appointment after so many months of serving in an acting capacity. It was during the period of his sickness while in Britain that the (then) acting President – Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, confirmed the appointment.
“We wish to also recall that in August last year, Mr Matthew Seiyefa of Bayelsa State, who was the most senior and most qualified officer at the time was appointed to the position of acting Director-General of the Department of State Services by Prof. Osinbajo, only to be replaced with a retired and junior officer to Seiyefa, Mr Yusuf Bichi, by President Buhari as soon as he resumed duties.
“We hereby vehemently resist any attempt to remove the CJN from office. We, therefore, want to state categorically that if the Presidency failed to reverse its harassment against the CJN, we will have no other option but to mobilise all the Niger Delta fighters and commence serious actions that would shake the country and the whole world.
“We shall shut down all the oil wells in the Niger Delta. We call on all the northerners and Yoruba who own oil wells in the Niger Delta to prepare to vacate immediately.
“We also want to warn our Niger Delta brothers, who are working for Buhari to watch their back and know that we are watching them and their family members. We warn them to stop campaigning for Buhari in the Niger Delta,” the statement read.