By Emma Amaize
WARRI—THERE was fresh threat to the amnesty programme of the federal government for militants in the Niger-Delta weekend, as a new militant group, the Urhobo Revolutionary Army (URA), comprising mainly members of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta (MEND) emerged to fight the interest of the oil-rich Urhobo ethnic nationality in Delta State.
Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, was understood to have already intervened in the matter, with a member of the Delta Waterways and Security Committee (DWSC) trying to reach out to the militants to quell the uprising.
In a statement on Sunday in Warri, the militant group said “with the blowing- up of the Otorogun Gas Plant, we, the Urhobo Revolutionary Army, announce the Urhobo struggle”, demanding control of all economic interests in Urhobo nation.
According to the URA, “we shall no longer accept the present docility and non-existent involvement of the Urhobo nation in the Niger-Delta struggle and therefore, we align fully with Henry Okah’s Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta (MEND), Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari’s Niger-Delta People Volunteer Force (NPDVF), Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo and other freedom fighting forces in the region, which are unshakable in the struggle.
“We condemn with seriousness the sell-out and sit-on-the fence attitude of some Urhobo leaders, like Deacon Gamaliel Onosede, Senator Felix Ibru, Chief James Ibori, His Royal Majesty, Benjamin Okumagba, Chief Ighoyota Amori, Chief Tom Amioku and Chief Omene Sobotie.
“They and their allies are sitting on the fence, pursuing personal and selfish interests against the Urhobo collective interest. We totally reject the undermining of Urhobo nation, this shall not be tolerated, and we vehemently reject the level of economic advancement and political development of Urhobo youth.http://www.vanguardngr.com/2009/08/17/emergence-of-new-militant-group-threatens-fgs-amnesty/comment-page-1/