The leading militant group in the oil-rich region of Nigeria, the Niger Delta Avengers, has announced an immediate end to its ceasefire with the Nigerian government.
The group of militants that struck oil installations in Niger Delta region last year.
In a statement posted on its website Friday, November 3, 2017, the group said it would resume hostilities any day from now, saying the Buhari administration has not been sincere with its peace talks and promises for the Niger Delta. The last time the group made a statement was in May 2017.
The group also condemned a former top militant in the region, Government Ekpemupolo, a.k.a. Tompolo, saying he had failed to live up to his leadership roles for those who seek absolute “emancipation” for the region.
The statement was signed by the group’s spokesperson Mudoch Agbinibo, who also took credit for a string of successful attacks on oil and gas facilities that sent major international oil firms like Shell and Chevron deferring activities last year.
The group also named Rotimi Amaechi, a former governor of Rivers State and minister of transport, as one of the persons in the Buhari regime frustrating peace talks with the group.
The militants have not carried out any major attack since the beginning of this year.
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. In the second quarter of 2016, the group emerged as the leading militant group mounting attacks on crude oil and gas installations in the troubled region.
The militant group say it is 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 claims 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.]
President Muhammadu Buhari recently rejected the Avengers’ demands saying that the unity of Nigeria is non-negotiable. The president’s first reaction to the Avengers was to declare war against them. He later promised to “crush them” as he did Boko Haram. That position has shifted to begging them in the ‘name of Almighty God’ to stop the attacks.
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.
In June, 2016 the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, another secessionist group pledged its support for the Niger Delta Avengers, saying the groups’ ideal of freedom align.
Ceasefire Official Over – Avengers
The full statement is republished below:
The High Command of the Niger Delta Avengers wishes to bring to the notice of the International Community and the general public that there is no such militant group with the nomenclature, “Reformed Niger Delta Avengers”; it is not operated by any of our operatives but a money making tool in the hands of certain disgruntled Niger Deltan political jobbers in connivance with top government functionaries of the Buhari led Nigerian Government.
The Intelligence Unit of the NDA has gathered from our sources in the Nigerian Government that the operatives of the said Reformed Niger Delta Avengers are some fraudsters from the Niger Delta region working with government functionaries like the office of the Director General of DSS, office of National Security Adviser and office of the Minister of Transport. The chain of Niger Delta fraudsters is which been led by one Richard Akinaka, Myke Loyibo and Famous Daunumugha and a host of others; has vowed to stop at nothing until they help the Nigerian Government to jeopardize the sincere efforts of the Niger Delta People at Economic, Social and Political freedom.
To the elders of the Niger Delta, PANDEF, we warned you against the antics of the Nigerian Government yet you requested a chance to broker a new vision for our people; we told you and the rest of the world that the Nigerian Government is only interested in our oil wells and not our well being yet you told us the signs are different this time around.
Instead of allowing us to continue our quest to bring the Nigerian economy to our targeted zero daily production, which recorded huge success; you threatened us with Tompolo to stop the struggle; out of respect for elders and not to the threat of Tompolo we adhered the call and halted our strike actions hoping you (PANDEF) would keep your own side of the bargain.
The question to Tompolo and the PANDEF is to tell us what progress they achieved since we heeded your retrogressive call, to whose benefit is the move by Tompolo and the Niger Delta elders to impede a mission sanctioned by our ancestors and the Almighty?
Tompolo, we want you to know that we never started this struggled with the intent of living forever but with our lives already offered for a sacrifice for a better Niger Delta. We invite you to come after us with your total force as we are no longer ready to heed uninspiring advise from you or anyone else in the Niger Delta Region.
We have since lost faith in you (Tompolo) and PANDEF and have vowed never to heed any such retrogressive call or advise from you in the future; the recent disruption of the PANDEF 4th National Assembly by the Nigerian Government is the final evidence we needed to conclude that the Federal Government of Nigeria reserves not even a iota of respect for you (Tompolo) and the Niger Delta Elders as the position of the Nigerian Government is made emphatically known to the Niger Delta People that it’s ONLY interest remains the flow of oil from our region to the Central Bank of Nigeria. We want to make it known to the PANDEF and the Nigeria government that our call for halt on “Operation Red Economy” is officially over.
Some of us can still remember those good old days in camp 5 when you (Tompolo) were the general of Generals, you told us (the young combatants) then, that “we are the future of the total emancipation of the Niger Delta, that we should also know we are not fighting for ourselves rather we are fighting for the next generation”. Sometimes we wonder where that charismatic General of Generals, has gone to. We bet, only you can answer dat question. We still believe in you but we are sorry, like you said 10yrs ago “we are the future of the total emancipation of our people”; and we have since chosen this path and never back out until the total emancipation of our people is achieved.
We have just concluded head count of our operatives across the Country; we are pleased to announce that all our operatives are intact and focused; ready to implement instructions from the High Command of the NDA in the going few days.
To the Nigerian Government, we are aware of Egina FPSO built in South Korea by Samsung to be operated by Total Nigeria is one of the biggest FPSO built in South Korea has started it’s voyage to the oil fields of the Niger Delta to further exploit us while our concerns are left unattended. We are presently tracking and monitoring it’s movement; and God willing it shall not operate successfully in amidst the return of the fury of the Niger Delta Avengers.
Message to the Oil Companies; Our next line of operation will not be like the 2016 campaign which we operated successfully without any casualties; this outing will be brutish, brutal and bloody, as we are shall crush everything we meet on our path to completely put off the fires that burn to flair gas in our communities and cut every pipe that moves crude away from our region. We can assure you that every oil installation in our region will feel warmth of the wrath of the Niger Delta Avengers.
To you the operators of the social media Avengers (RNDA), be reminded that the Niger Delta Avengers are not the same as the toothless and cowardly MEND; we are men of our words and may it resonance in thy ears and deep down your bowels and that of your partner’s in government whose interest is the suffering of the people of the Niger Delta that we (The Niger Delta Avengers) are back and will not spare anything or anyone on our path to actualize a united and free Niger Delta.
According to John F Kennedy; Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
Maj. Gen Murdoch Agbinibo.