Despite efforts by the Federal Government to hold dialogue with Niger Delta militants, they have continued to threaten International oil companies in the country.
The Greenland Justice Mandate, a Niger Delta militant group, has warned Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, against reopening of the newly repaired Trans Forcados pipeline.
The subsea pipeline, located in Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State, was attacked in February this year was due to resume operation in a week’s time after repairs.
The group however warned that it must seize operation until it gives the go ahead.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government had slated a meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chief Edwin Clark led Pan-Niger Delta Dialogue team forOctober 29but latter changed it to 31.
There have however been agitations over the composition of the team, with allegations that it does not reflect the diverse ethnic base of the Niger Delta region.
In a statement issued by its spokesman, Aldo Agbalaja, on Saturday, the group said: ‘‘Trans Forcados crude is under force majeure from operator Shell since a militant attack on the subsea pipeline in February and it is due to resume operation this week following the completion of repair works and maintenance.
“We do not have much to say to the oil companies than to just dare them to reopen the Trans-Forcados pipeline. We are aware that you are experts at testing wills, especially as you believe that you have a military shield. Please, go ahead to restart the facility and see what will happen.’’
Greenland Justice Mandate, also in the statement, kicked against the plan by the Federal Government to meet with the Chief Edwin Clak led Pan-Niger Delta Dialogue Team, adding that the team must not negotiate on its behalf.
The group insisted that the Clark-led Niger Delta leaders lack both the moral right and trust to speak for the region.
According to the group that said it does not have anything personal against the team, it insisted that it would be a grave mistake for the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to discuss the future of the region with the same group of persons responsible
for the current parlous state of the region.
It however called on the Federal Government to wait for the list of credible and trusted community leaders, including traditional rulers from the various ethnic groups in the region for the proposed dialogue.
“We thought we should not continue to ignore the grand error being orchestrated by those who are responsible for the current parlous state of the Niger Delta region. These people seem to have succeeded in bewitching and railroading the Federal Government into settling for a dialogue with them in the name of the Niger Delta people”, the group said.