Militants threaten to burn mosques, kill Muslims in Niger Delta if…

•As NDA splits into two factions   •We are united —Avengers

The South-South region may be thrown into another round of crisis as a new militant group, the Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders (NDRC), has threatened to carry out reprisal attacks on mosques and Muslims in the Niger Delta should the Boko Haram insurgents kill Christians and burn down churches in the North as threatened.

The new leader of the Boko Haram sect, Abu Masab el Barnawi, had, last week, reportedly threatened to kill more Christians and burn more churches in the North.

NDRC spokesperson, W O Izon-Ebi, on Saturday, alleged that the plan by Boko Haram to kill Christians and burn churches in the North was part of a plot to Islamise the country, vowing that such would be resisted.

Zion-Ebi, according to an online report, SpyNigeria.com, said, “We want to alert Nigerians and the world that the Islamisation plot has been proven by the Boko Haram new leader, Abu Masab el Barnawi, that their new mission is to kill all Christians and burn down all churches.

“We warn them that we the Niger Delta youths will not accept the killing of innocent Christians or burning of churches. That if they try it in the North or any part of Nigeria, there won’t be any Muslim or mosque in the Niger Delta.

“We are not against President [Muhammadu] Buhari granting the Boko Haram amnesty if their sole purpose is to own an Islamic caliphate in the North, but they should not shift it to the Niger Delta.

“All we know and want is resource control and true federalism. If truly they believe in one Nigeria and are working harder to build a prosperous one Nigeria, let them shift their Operation Crocodile Tears to the Fulani herdsmen and the Boko Haram that are threatening the unity and peace of Nigeria.”

Meanwhile, a split has crept into the camp of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), as a faction of the militant group, the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA), has threatened to expose the sponsors of the group.

According to an online report, the breakaway faction was said to have emerged on Friday, with a warning to NDA to stop further attacks on pipeline installations in the region.

The factional militant group, in a statement issued by one Cynthia White, also on Friday night, introduced itself as “the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA), a breakaway faction of the NDA.

The group claimed that its decision to break away from NDA was informed by the intervention of former President Goodluck Jonathan and the peace initiative of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) on the crisis in the region.

The RNDA spokesperson said the new militant group decided to pull out of NDA, having been filled with a sense of guilty over the level of damage being carried out in the region and the political will demonstrated by President Buhari to clean up the region.

“The Niger Delta will no longer be your proxy war to achieve your ambition. To our comrades in the NDA, we urge you to stop being defiant and embrace peace and the wise counsel we all received from former President Jonathan,” the statement read.

However, NDA has denied crack in the group, blaming MEND for what it called its alleged divisive tendencies.

The militant group said it was too busy at the moment to be distracted by those it claimed were not part of their members, adding that the group remained “united and we are all together.”