The statement, signed by their Spokesperson, Efe Edet-Tamuno says Rondel wants independence from Nigeria from the year 2018.
The statement asked all northerners and owners of oil wells in the Niger Delta to vacate the region three months after the commencement of the eviction notice of the Igbos from northern Nigeria.
Proposed flag of Rondel, Region of Niger Delta.
The group claimed that they met in Port Harcourt on 7th of June, 2017 but the actual identities of their coalition partners could not be independently verified as as press time.
The statement however gave a condition for any possible negotiation with government. They said the minimum condition shall be the arrest, trial and conviction of the Arewa Youths over what they termed “treasonable felony”.
The group argued that they will not take mere statements of condemnation by northern politicians of the treasonable felony of the Arewa Youths unless “there is arrest, trial and conviction”.
The group’s spokesperson, Mr Efe Edet-Tamuno (who’s identity has not been independently ascertained) presented a flag which he or she claims to be the Rondel flag.
Below is the full statement by the group, made available to news men in Nigeria, including Urhokpota Reporters.
“A Demand for the Independence of Rondel from Nigeria in 2018.
By: Rondel Solidarity Movement.
We the people of the Region of the Niger Delta (Rondel), represented by members of Rondel Solidarity Movement (RSM) – a newly born aggressive but non-violent umbrella body for all intellectuals, groups and associations in the Niger Delta Region, having lived together in the past as a loose federation under the Benin Empire and the great Ijaw and other kingdoms, desirous of searching for our own country since northerners in Nigeria have decided to evacuate southerners from ‘their Nigeria’ – we today, 07.06.2017 wish to announce the fusion of our various groups into one strong and united non self seeking group to champion our developmental causes and help build our region into a nation of justice, freedom, peace and prosperity.
We have, after over 6 hours of a well attended meeting held at a secret location in Rivers State, met and made Resolutions which will be remembered as The Rondel Covenant.
The Resolutions are in response to the threat by lazy and ignorant Arewa Youths to divide and destroy Nigeria (disguising as evicting the Igbos – an injury to any Southerner is an injury to all Southerners – the days of divide and conquer has ended) and noting the obvious foot dragging of the Nigerian government over this issue with no one arrested, tried or jailed despite the fact that the treasonable felons are well known and they are all not hiding whereas a certain Nnamdi Kanu of Biafra was incarcerated for over two years for daring to discuss Biafra and a certain Kola Edokpayi of Rondel is currently incarcerated for daring to challenge the government in Edo state.
Following the treasonable ultimatum issued by the Arewa Youths with tacit backing of the Arewa Consultative Forum and Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs led by Sultan of Sokoto either of who has not openly condemned the felons and call for their incarceration like they would do when the table turned, and being fed up of being described by the President of Nigeria as 5% undeserving of the benefits of Nigeria, thus desirous to found our own country where we will be treated as citizens with full rights, not some species with 5% rights,
We hereby make the following declarations and resolve as follows:
1. That all the intellectuals, groups and associations in the Niger Delta should fuse into Rondel Solidarity Movement and our demands shift from Resource Control to Independence Movement
2. That in our country, we shall return power to the true owners of the lands, the monarchs, in English-style power sharing between the Royals and the people in a Parliamentary system.
3. That we demand Independence for Rondel from Nigeria from 2018.
4. That Rondel comprise all the six states in the present South-South of Nigeria.
5. That Rondel is an acronym derived from the Region of Niger Delta, later Republic of Niger Delta, if the Arewa groups make good their threats.
6. That Rondel is our name, Rondish will be our Language and Rondland shall be our capital city. Details of these, including the locations of Rondland, shall be in our October 1 book.
7. That no inch of Rondel in the six states of Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, Cross River, Edo, and Rivers States shall ever be ceded to any other people or nation for any reason whatsoever and all those people drawing maps up and down are hereby warned to desist forthwith or risk our disproportionate vengeance including present and future social and economic sanctions.
8. That our motivation for decision to leave Nigeria are first President Buhari’s treatment of our people as 5%, Northerner’s nearly exclusive illegal and immoral occupation of our oil wells destroying our ecosystems and the eviction notice by Arewa Youths with tacit support of government and the Arewa leaders.
9. That since that treasonable order by Arewa youths, and because no one was arrested, tried and convicted for the high treason, the same matter for which Nnamdi Kalu was imprisoned for about two years, we no longer have faith in one indissoluble Nigeria.
10. That we state emphatically and without equivocation, that in the likely event of the disintegration of Nigeria, we have resolved to live together in the “Region of Niger Delta’, which we henceforth now wish to call RONDEL.
11. That we wish henceforth, as a people, to be known and addressed as Rondelites and our languages to be known as dialects of Rondish, which shall be our Official Language, side by side English.
12. That our capital city shall be a portion carved out of an existing area in the Region of Niger Delta and to be renamed Rondland. Details, including out national anthem, flag, coat of arms and interim Constitution, will be published in our book, “RONDEL MANIFESTO: The Making of a Nation” to be released on October 1, 2017.
13.. That the Igbo people, and indeed all Africans and foreigners, are heartily welcome to visit, stay, live in or do legitimate business unencumbered anywhere in Rondel now and in the future.
14. That in the event of a breakup and the Biafrans, the Omoluabis, Middle Beltans, etc have their separate countries, we will be willing to enter into economic partnerships to help each other grow their economies and societies to achieve the Millennium Developed Goals.
15. That this Resolution serves as a warning and a Notice to the Nigerian government, the International community, including all the northern states of Nigeria that henceforth, if any Igbo or indeed any Southerner or Middle Beltan Nigerian is ever attacked or killed again anywhere in the north in a hate or xenophobic attack, we shall declare our Independence within three months.
This is not a threat but self preservation.
16.. That since the Arewa youths have given the Igbos (that implies all southerners, we are not fooled) three months notice to vacate ‘their Nigeria’, we give all northern oil bloc owners three months notice from October 1, 2017 for them to leave the Niger Delta Region or face unpredictable adverse consequences.
17. That we are now ready to take our destiny in our own hands and end this parasitic forced marriage of perpetual disaster since 1914.
18. That we in the Region of Niger Delta declare today 07.06.2017 as the commencement date for our Independence struggle.
19. That the minimum demand for negotiation is arrest, prosecution and conviction of all those who were involved in the provocative treasonable felony. Condemning their action or threat to arrest them will not suffice this time.
20. That we wish to declare to the troublesome northerners that Enough is Enough – time don reach make we kukuma begin share the Garri!
(Spokesperson for RSM)
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