The new militant group operating in the oil-rich region of southern Nigeria, the Niger Delta Avengers has refuted an announcement by SaharaReporters, a citizen reporter website that the group was negotiating with the federal government of Nigeria in Asaba, capital of Delta State.
The group used its handle on micro-blogging website, Twitter on Friday, June 17, 2016 to denounce the report saying that no member of the Niger Delta Avengers is dialoguing with the Nigerian government. It also said that anybody presenting themselves as representatives of the group is a political jobber.
— Niger Delta Avengers (@NDAvengers) June 17, 2016
Thursday, the group claimed responsibility for blowing up a pipeline belonging to the state-owned oil company, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, in Oruk Anam Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom. This attack would be the first time that the Avengers have attacked an oil installation in the oil and gas rich state.
The Nigeria Police Force has issued a statement saying that the attack on the NNPC pipeline in Akwa Ibom was not the work of the Delta Avengers.
This latest attack comes as the group threatened oil giants and international refineries to desist from buying crude oil from Nigeria and threatened to sink two mother ships belonging to the companies if they don’t heed the Niger Delta Avengers warning.
The militants called on the international community to step in and ensure that justice in the ownership of natural resources is done in Nigeria as it accepted to negotiate with the Nigerian government only if a neutral third party was mediating.
In a lengthy editorial on its website titled, Enough of The Injustice, the Niger Delta Avengers decried the devastation that oil exploration and exploitation has done to the environment and communities in the Niger Delta Region and called for a change in the structure of Nigeria.
The Avengers also celebrated the news that foreign refineries are no longer accepting crude oil from Nigeria. “It is good as foreign refineries have stop buying Nigerian oil because the Nigerian state has been robbing the Niger Delta of her oil and gas. We will inform the international community when we are opened for business,” the group said in a grammatically challenged message.
Who are the Niger Delta Avengers
Niger Delta Avengers is a new militancy group that is operating in the oil-rich region of Southern Nigeria.
The militants say they are waging a war for a free Niger Delta Republic in what it tags, Operation Red Economy, with a view of halting crude oil production in Nigeria to force the government to grant the group’s demands.
The Avengers claim it has reduced oil production in the country to less than one million barrels a day. An analyst at VOA News corroborates the militants’ claims saying that oil production has dropped below one million barrels a day due to the waves of attacks on pipelines and oil installations.
The militant group has released its rules of engagement and says that it doesn’t kill anybody or attack oil workers or soldiers. The Delta Avengers called on all other groups operating in the region to abide by these rules of engagement. “We need God now, more than ever,” the group said in a statement.
The Niger Delta Avengers has presented an 11-point demand to President Muhammadu Buhari and the first is the implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 National Conference. [Download Conference report HERE.]
Pro-Biafra secessionist group, Movement for the Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra, MASSOB, has pledged “total allegiance” to the Niger Delta Avengers extolling the militant group for supporting the cause of a free Biafra. MASSOB embraces the tenets of nonviolence. It is led by Ralph Uwazuruike, a lawyer.