The Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators has accused some politicians in the country of stockpiling arms and ammunition in the oil producing region ahead of the 2019 general elections.
The militants said the move was aimed at creating mayhem in Niger Delta states, particularly in Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom.
A statement by leaders of the coalition claimed that within the last four weeks over 48,000 AK-47 rifles and ammunition had been moved to different parts of the region.
Among the signatories of the statement issued via electronic mail on Thursday are John Duku of Niger Delta Watchdogs and Convener of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators; Jomo Gbomo (Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta), Mudoch Agbinibo (Niger Delta Avengers), Ekpo Ekpo (Niger Delta Volunteers), Simple Benjamin (Bakassi Strike Force) and Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors).
Others are Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters), Asukwo Henshaw (Bakassi Freedom Fighters), Ibinabo Horsfall (Niger Delta Movement for Justice) and Duke Emmanson (Niger Delta Fighters Network).
The statement read, “The Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators wishes to use this medium to draw the attention of the general public and the International Community to the mass movement of sophisticated arms and ammunition to the South-South zone of the country.
“This is for the sole purpose of distributing same to already recruited thugs/youths. Within the last one month, over 48,000 AK-47 rifles, pump action shotguns, pistols, ammunition and other weapons have been moved to different locations in the Niger Delta region.
“There is the proliferation of dangerous weapons in the Niger Delta region brought in by politicians to cause mayhem in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.”
The groups explained that one of their ‘Generals’ had been contacted by a top official of a political party to “supply boys” that would be co-opted into the 3,500 thugs to be used for election violence in Niger Delta.
They disclosed that the sum of N100,000 had been earmarked for each thug while the ‘Generals’ would get N1m each on election day.
“Already, one of our Generals has been contacted by a top official of a political party to supply about 150 of his boys who will be part of the 3,500 thugs they want to use in each state of the Niger Delta region for their nefarious activities during the forthcoming elections.
“The negotiators have agreed on the payment of N100,000 per thug on election day, while the leaders (Generals) will earn N1m each.
“They have also procured fake military and police uniforms, which these thugs will wear. They are all out to foment trouble in the area, particularly in Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom states.”
The coalition expressed concern that innocent people could be affected by the presence of arms and ammunition in wrong hands during the 2019 elections in Niger Delta.