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Military Storms Bayelsa, Delta To Stop N’delta Republic Declaration

The military on Monday trooped to Boro Town, Kaiama, in Kolokuma-Opokuma Local Government Area of Bayelsa State and strategic locations in Delta State over threats by militants to declare the Niger Delta Republic.  The militant group, Adaka Boro Avengers, had earlier said it would declare the republic and open its headquarters in Kaiama, the country home of late Ijaw freedom fighter, Major Isaac Adaka Boro.
 The intimidating presence of the military, it was learnt, forced the militant group to cancel the planned declaration slated for August 1. The late Boro, before the Nigerian Civil War in 1966, formed the Ijaw Volunteer Force, an armed militant group with members consisting mainly of his fellow Ijaw ethnic group.
  They declared the Niger Delta Republic on February 23, 1966 and gallantly battled the federal forces for 12 days before they were finally routed by the superior firepower of the Federal Government.
 Boro and his compatriots were jailed for treason but he was later released and made to fight for the Federal Government against Biafra during the civil war where he died in mysterious circumstances defending Nigeria’s unity.
 Kaiama is also famous for the 1988 “Ijaw Youth Council Declaration” where youths drawn from over 500 communities and 40 clans met to deliberate on the best way to ensure the continuous survival of the indigenous peoples of the Ijaw ethnic nationality of the Niger Delta within the Nigerian state.
  Residents of Kaiama confirmed the movement of troops to the community and said it started on Saturday, July 30, with a stop-and-search operation on vehicles moving along a section of the East-West Road.
 The people of the community reportedly went about their normal business unmolested, though they were said to be panic-stricken at the presence of fierce-looking soldiers and other security forces.
  A resident of Kaiama, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said there was no major incident apart from the ubiquitous presence of security operatives.
 The resident, who is from the family of the late Boro, said the military presence was to forestall any breakdown of law and order and also to make sure that nobody took advantage of the situation.
The spokesman for Operation Delta Safe, Lt. Col. Olaolu Daudu, could not be reached his reaction as his mobile phone indicated it was switched off.
 However, the Minister of Defence, Gen. Mansur Dan-Ali, had on Friday said the military was ready to do anything to make sure Nigeria remained one.
  Ijaw leaders had before the planned declaration on Monday by the ABA sent a strong message to the militants not to declare an Independent Niger Delta Republic, saying that the militants were on their own.
  The warning was part of a communiqué after a consultative meeting of Ijaw leaders hosted by its national leader, Chief Edwin Clark, where they noted that what the people of the Niger Delta wanted was true federalism.
  Meanwhile, the ABA, in a statement, said it had cancelled its declaration of a Niger Delta Republic, saying the decision was not based on selfish interest.
 The group had applauded former President Goodluck Jonathan for his move to stop the declaration that was earlier fixed for Monday, August 1.
  The group, in a statement through its spokesman, ‘General’ Edmos Ayayeibo, had ordered the Yoruba and Hausa out of the Niger Delta region.
 It also called on the Niger Delta people to return home for the declaration.

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