Date Published: 08/11/10
Newly Imported Arms flood Niger Delta
...New Militia Groups Emerge
...Politicians, Army, Navy linked
Alhaji Asari Dokubo, Leader NDVF
Despite the on-going amnesty program, fresh cache of arms and high caliber military weapons may have resurfaced in the Niger Delta region allegedly imported by dissident fighters.
Highly placed security sources informed Pointblanknews.com that the high caliber weapons are being shipped into the Niger Delta through the creeks from neighboring countries with the support of the Nigeria Navy, the Army and some top politicians.
The Army and Navy could not be reached for comments when contacted.
But the Niger Delta Volunteer Force, NDVF, which distanced itself, however added that such move by dissidents was not impossible. Its leader Asari Dokubo in an interview with pointblanews.com said even though the group is yet to surrender it arms in line with the amnesty program, NDVF is not a militant group but prepared to defend the Niger Delta region.
Dokubo told pointblanknews.com in a telephone interview “We have not surrendered our arms and it is our rights because we don’t believe in the amnesty program. Before we decided to pick up arms and fight, we knew all this manipulations would take place,”
He added, “I am not aware of the stockpile of arms, but it is not impossible.”
Dokubo added that “the issue of arms has been there for a long time. It did not start today and cannot just end like that.”
However, sources informed Pointblanknews.com that new militia groups and leaders have emerged in the Niger Delta region and they are responsible for the importation and delivery of the new arms.
The identities of the groups could not be ascertained as at the time of going to press but sources said the members cut across all other groups that have accepted the amnesty program and surrendered arms.
“They were former members of other groups that have joined the Nigeria government and they intend to continue the struggle,” a source told pointblanknews.com
Sources told pointblanknews.com that the dissident members are angry with their leaders who they accuse of enjoying royal treatments in the hands of the government at the expense of the struggle and agitations in the Niger Delta region.
The militants are also allegedly arming themselves to ensure relevance ahead of the forthcoming elections, the source said.
According to a source “They (militants) are not happy because those they started with and who they all looked up as leaders have sold out and now enjoying patronage from the same government they were fighting so what they have decided to do is to go back to the trenches and start afresh.”
Pointblanknews.com also gathered that some politicians in the region are not just supporting the rearming of the militants but also providing logistical support to the new groups.