New militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, has called on all emerging militant groups in the Niger Delta to desist from any action that would spill the blood of soldiers or civilians.
The group made this known through a statement on its website in the afternoon of Saturday, June 4, 2016. The statement titled, “Message to Our Brothers In the Struggle“, denounces threats to use anti aircraft missiles against Nigerian fighter jets in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
The statement signed by the group’s spokesman, Brigadier General Mudoch Agbinibo encourages all groups fighting for the liberation of the region be resolute and strong because God is on their side. They also said that anybody who finds a soldier in distress should help him.
“The avengers are calling on all groups in the region to be strong and resolute as it is obvious that God is on our side,” the statement said.
Agbinibo also made reference to a new threat by another militant group, Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force, JNDLF, to begin launching missiles against the Nigerian military. “The high command of the Avengers is calling on you not to attack any soldier and those claiming to have anti aircraft missiles should desist from targeting any aircraft,” he wrote.
“Let us be careful not offend God in the process of trying to liberate our people from the shackles of the Nigerian government because we need God more than anything right now,” the statement said. “We also need the international communities as well.”
“Hence, we must desist from any life threatening actions that will derail our genuine struggle for our people,” he advised.
The Delta Avengers had earlier this week refuted reports that it attacked a military houseboat and killed some soldiers. The group said that “killing sleeping soldiers is not our style”. It promised to bring the culprits to book as it condoled the families of the victims.
The Niger Delta Avengers also said that called on all groups to desist from harassing oil workers, kidnapping and attacking soldiers saying that if the need arises to defend against the Nigerian military, the group would let its strike forces know.
“All groups are hereby discouraged from indulging in harassing oil workers and soldiers. We urge you all to help any oil workers or soldiers you see in distress,” the Avengers say.
It re-emphasised that the Nigeria Delta Avengers has not engaged any soldier in combat since its campaign began earlier in the year. This dispels rumours of the Avengers killing 8 soldiers earlier this week in Onitsha.
The group also stressed that its target are the oil installations in the region and it has succeeded in attacking the pipelines in the region despite heavy military presence without attacking any soldier. It also threatened to deal with any group that ignores its warning and attacks soldiers.
“The Avengers will deal with any group that refuses and attacks the military,” the militant group warns.
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 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.]
Read the full statement republished below, unedited.
Good Afternoon Niger Deltans. The liberation of the Niger Delta people has taken a new swing with the daily emergence of new groups all over the region. The avengers are calling on all groups in the region to be strong and resolute as it is obvious that God is on our side.
The groups are much now both real and unreal but if you really fighting for the liberation of the Niger delta people. The high command of the Avengers is calling on you not to attack any soldier and those claiming to have anti aircraft missiles should desist from targeting any aircraft.
Let us be careful not offend God in the process of trying to liberate our people from the shackles of the Nigerian government because we need God more than anything right now. We also need the international communities as well. Hence, we must desist from any life threatening actions that will derail our genuine struggle for our people.
All groups are hereby discouraged from indulging in harassing oil workers and soldiers. We urge you all to help any oil workers or soldiers you see in distress.
The military warplanes hovering round our towns and villages have not strike a soul or destroy any property, so those groups with anti aircraft missiles should dry their gunpowder.
When it is time to engage the military in combat the whole world will know they started the war not the Avengers. The Niger Delta Avengers high command will pass the message round that its time to engage on gun battle when the time comes. So far, we have not engaged the Nigeria military in combat; despite the heavy presence of military on the pipelines. We still find way to carry out our actions without attacking soldiers. The avengers will deal with any group that refuses and attack military.
The high command is calling on all groups in Rivers, Ondo, Delta, Bayelsa, Cross River, and Akwa Ibom to not indulge in any act of kidnapping and attacking of soldiers. The war is on oil installations; “Operation On Flow of Oil”
God is our strength; he is going to see the people of Niger delta through.
God bless the Niger delta republic.
Brig.Gen Mudoch Agbinibo