The Niger Delta Militants have been targeting Western oil interests in Nigeria, drawing the ire of US media outlets, who are quick to dismiss their actions as terrorism.
The militants said the move was aimed at creating mayhem in Niger Delta states, particularly in Rivers, Bayelsa and Akwa Ibom.
A statement by leaders of the coalition claimed that within the last four weeks over 48,000 AK-47 rifles and ammunition had been moved to different parts of the region.
Among the signatories of the statement issued via electronic mail on Thursday are John Duku of Niger Delta Watchdogs and Convener of the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators; Jomo Gbomo (Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta), Mudoch Agbinibo (Niger Delta Avengers), Ekpo Ekpo (Niger Delta Volunteers), Simple Benjamin (Bakassi Strike Force) and Osarolor Nedam (Niger Delta Warriors).
Others are Henry Okon Etete (Niger Delta Peoples Fighters), Asukwo Henshaw (Bakassi Freedom Fighters), Ibinabo Horsfall (Niger Delta Movement for Justice) and Duke Emmanson (Niger Delta Fighters Network).
The statement read, “The Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators wishes to use this medium to draw the attention of the general public and the International Community to the mass movement of sophisticated arms and ammunition to the South-South zone of the country.
“This is for the sole purpose of distributing same to already recruited thugs/youths. Within the last one month, over 48,000 AK-47 rifles, pump action shotguns, pistols, ammunition and other weapons have been moved to different locations in the Niger Delta region.
“There is the proliferation of dangerous weapons in the Niger Delta region brought in by politicians to cause mayhem in Rivers and Akwa Ibom states.”