President Muhammadu Buhari has given a fresh order to the military to crack down on a new militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, which has been attacking oil installations.
The president gave the directive on Friday, May 6, 2016 according to Punch.
This directive was given following the new militancy group’s attacks on Chevron oil facilities in Warri, Delta State on Wednesday. The attack on the Okan offshore production platform destroyed a major pipeline connecting Warri with Kaduna.
Meanwhile, no casualty has been reported in the groups attacks on oil facilities in the oil rich Delta region of the country. On the other hand, a murderous group of terrorists operating under the cover of Fulani herdsmen have murdered over 5,000 Nigerians in Central Nigeria, South West, South South, and South East regions of the country in 2015 and 2016, surpassing Boko Haram as the world’s most deadly terrorist organisation.
Buhari remained mute over the terrorist activities of the Fulani militia who have been tagged the “Fulani Janjaweed” by human rights groups. He only recently commented on the group’s killings after intense local and international criticism over his silence in the face of genocide in Agatu, Benue and Nzimo, in Enugu.
A presidential spokesman said that the president had ordered the police, the secret police, and army to fish out the perpetrators of the killings and make them face justice. A far cry from the all out war declared against the Niger Delta Avengers.
The American oil company said its oil production dropped by 105,000 barrels in three days due to the attack by the Niger Delta Avengers.
“Approximately 35,000 bpd of Chevron’s net crude oil production in Nigeria are impacted,” Chevron’s spokesperson, Isabel Ordonez, said in a statement to the press.
The impact of this attack was confirmed to the Nigerian press by the company’s general manager in charge of policy, government, and public affairs, Deji Haastrup.“This is a very difficult time for the country because it needs the revenue it can get from oil production. Incidents such as this have the potential to impact that. We do hope that it does not seriously affect the country,” he told the media.
“Both Warri and Kaduna refineries also got a delivery rate of 903,000 barrels just before the attacks,” an anonymous Chevron worker told Punch.
Workers also confirmed that 10 military air patrols were spotted over the pipelines on Saturday, May 8, 2016 following the attack. According to them, it has been difficult for fire-fighters to quench the fire from the pipelines.
“The fire is still on and it’s going to be hard to stop it because it’s huge,” the workers confirmed to the press.
The Punch reports:
It was learnt that following the attacks, which has the potential of adversely affecting the revenue of the country, the president instructed the Nigerian Army, the Nigerian Navy and the Nigerian Air Force to stop the activities of the new group.
A presidential aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “The president gave special instruction to the military, especially to the chief of Naval Staff, that this ugly development of vandals in the Niger Delta should end immediately.”
It was learnt that the President also ordered the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ibok-Ete Ekwe Ibas, to ensure that all waterways and platforms were protected against further attacks by the militants.
The Acting Director, Defence Information, Brig. -Gen. Rabe Abubakar, in an interview with one of our correspondents on Saturday, confirmed that the military had gotten the directive.
He said, “We have the order from the President and we are monitoring the activities of the new group. All efforts will be made to bring out those behind it.
“The suspects who perpetrated the first vandalism were apprehended and paraded the day before yesterday (Thursday).
“These ones are not going to be different. We are going out on our operation to stop and apprehend them in accordance with the presidential directive.”
Abubakar was not specific about what measures would be taken to address the current situation.
“We are not deterred; nobody is happy about it but we are not deterred from doing what we are doing. And more proactive measures would be put in place.
“What they are doing is complete economic sabotage; it is economic terrorism,” he said.
Buhari had in April threatened that his administration would descend heavily on oil and gas pipelines vandals as well as other saboteurs the same way the nation’s Armed Forces were dealing with members of the Boko Haram sect.
The president who spoke in Beijing during a meeting he had with members of the Nigerian community in China, warned vandals and saboteurs blowing up oil and gas installations in Nigeria to desist immediately or face the same drastic action being taken against Boko Haram by the Armed Forces.