The new militancy group currently rocking Nigeria’s oil economy, the Niger Delta Avengers came on the scene with a bang in February blowing up strategic pipelines in Delta State. The group’s emergence coincided with the federal government’s legal standoff with a former Niger Delta warlord, Tompolo, whose legal name is Government Ekpemukpolo.
Many people attributed the group’s actions to Tompolo, but the businessman and philanthropist, has repeatedly denied involvement in the renewed militancy in Nigeria’s oil region. Tompolo, last week denounced the activities of the group, attracting a warning and threat from the militants.
The Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for blowing up Forcados terminal crude oil export pipeline, “crude line feeds that links Warri and Kaduna refineries respectively”, and a number of other devastating attacks on oil installations in Nigeria.
On February 13, 2016, the little-known group, at the time published its list of demands to President Muhammadu Buhari failing which, the group would ground the Nigerian economy by attacking oil installations. In what the group termed, Operation Red Economy, it outlines its grievances with Buhari’s government. It condemned Buhari’s lack of federal character in appointments and the fact that his anti-corruption war was targeted at former President Goodluck Jonathan and the government’s opposition figures.
Niger Delta Avengers, in the list of demands accused Buhari of killing Chief DSP Alamieyeseigha, a former governor of Bayelsa, and seeking to humiliate the people of the region. It demanded immediate implementation of the resolution of the 2014 National Conference and that oil bloc owners should be 60% indigenes of the oil producing region and 40% the rest of the Nigeria.
Prominent in the group’s demands is the reversal of the cancellation of the National Maritime University which was sited in Delta State. The group demanded an apology from Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, Nigeria’s transport minister over his role in ending the project and demanded an immediate kick-off of the university.
Read the full statement, unedited, below:
We are a group of young Niger Deltans who have support from other parts of Nigeria, namely Northern, Western and Eastern part of the Country.
We have watched with keen interest, the way and manner in which the president Muhammadu Buhari Led APC government runs the affairs of this country, and we not pleased with the way things are going. For instance, the so-called anti-corruption fight is directed towards perceived enemies of the government, and those that are sympathetic to former President Goodluck Jonathan.
We wonder why this persecution, despite the peaceful manner Jonathan hand over government to All Progressive Congress APC. When they did not even the win the 2015 election because he was after lives of Nigerians as he saw that the APC is blood tasty.
So far the only two governorship elections that were conducted under this government were and still remain the most controversial elections in the history of this nation.
The 2016 budget that was presented to the national assembly is full of fraud, yet nobody has owned up to the frauds spotted in the budget by Nigerians and the national assembly.
The president has not deem it fit to expose and prosecute those that are behind these frauds and punish them accordingly, because, because he is neck dip in these frauds. What kind of anti-corrupt fight is this?
This is the time Nigerians need to say the truth and stand by it. There must be a revolution to deliver this country from the hands of this wicked administration now. Imagine all the appointees to the president are all his relations eg DSS, Customs, INEC, and so on. We can no longer continue like this. There is a serious and biting hunger in the land. So many persons have lost their jobs under this Buhari led administration, while his wife and children are doing party everyday in Aso Rock Villa.
We cannot continue like this. Most APC leaders and other big men are pretending as if all is well but all is not well with them. Infact, they are dying in silent. Nigerians must speak up against this Military in Democracy government. Things must be done in the right way.
Therefore, we have chosen to start this revolution to free country from these vampires called APC government. We are hereby giving president Buhari two weeks ultimatum to do the following things urgently.
- Immediate implementation of the report of the 2014 National Conference. Otherwise, this country will break-up forcefully.
- President Buhari, the DS SSS and Timipre Sylva should apologize to the people of the Niger Delta region and family of Late Chief DSP Alamieyesegha for killing him with intimidation and harassment because of his party affiliation.
- The ownership of oil blocks must reflect 60% for the oil producing people and 40% for the non-oil producing people.
- The only Nigerian Maritime University sited in the most appropriate and befitting place Okerenkoko must start the 2015/2016 academic session immediately.
- The minister of transportation, Mr Rotimi Amechi should apologize to the Ijaws and the entire Niger Delta people for his careless and reckless statement about the siting of the University.
- The Ogoniland and indeed ll oil polluted lands in the Niger Delta must be cleaned up and compensation be paid to all oil producing communities.
- Mr Nnamdi Kanu, the Leader of IPOB must be released unconditionally as the court said.
- The Niger Delta Amnesty programme must be well funded and let it continue to run effectively.
- All APC members that are indicted in any corruption related cases should be made to face trial like the PDP members. Otherwise Buhari should shamefully forget about this nonsense anti-corruption fight.
- All oil multi-nationals and foreign investors should observe this ultimatum, as their business interest in the country must be first target.
- A word is enough for the wise.
In addition to tell the Nigeria government that we mean business at as 10:55pm on Saturday the Forcados terminal crude oil export pipeline was blown up by Niger Delta Avengers.