Nigerian militants demand northerners' withdrawal from oil-rich region

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-16 20:18:49|Editor: MJ
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ABUJA, June 16 (Xinhua) -- A coalition of militant groups in Nigeria has issued an ultimatum to northerners to quit the oil-rich region in the country's south, local media reported on Friday.

The Niger Delta militant groups issued the "quit notice" following a meeting on Thursday.

The militants threatened to attack oil wells owned by northerners in the Niger Delta region before Oct. 1, Nigeria's national day, according to The Guardian.

Ostensibly, the ultimatum was in response to a similar notice issued to southerners by some northern youth groups in the country.

Various ethnic groups in Nigeria have recently been stoking the tension that is threatening to tear the most populous African country apart, each one issuing threats to others.

For 50 years now, ethnic groups in southeastern Nigeria had been agitating for the Biafra Republic. This agitation snowballed into a three-year civil war in 1967.

In particular, the threat by the Niger Delta militants to shut down the region could affect Nigeria's oil production and revenue, analysts said.

"It could also affect international oil prices, noting that Nigeria is one of the largest oil producers in the world," said Kunle Adejare, an economic analyst.

Nigeria's acting president Yemi Osinbajo on Tuesday began a nationwide consultation of leaders of thought in a peace move aimed at stopping the ethnic groups from carrying out their threats.

The oil militants accused the government and the conventional and secret police of not doing enough to end the ethnic crises and urged the government to return all oil blocs owned by northerners to the Niger Delta people.