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Niger Delta militants to resume attacks on Nigeria’s oil installations

Nigerian militant group Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) said on Friday its ceasefire on attacks in the country’s southern oil-rich region was at an end.

“We can assure you that every oil installation in our region will feel the warmth of the wrath of the Niger Delta Avengers,” the group said in a statement on its website.

The NDA took the action following allegations of unfulfilled promises and corruption levelled against the Federal Government and Office of the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme.

The group, in a statement posted on its website, also lashed out at former warlord, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, a.k.a Tompolo, and the elders of the Niger Delta region, represented by the PanNiger Delta Forum (PANDEF), for allegedly working against the interest of its struggle. It warned that its operations, which it said would commence soon, would not be without casualties as it was in 2016.

In the statement signed by its spokesperson, Murdoch Agbinibo, the group blamed the state of things in the region on the failure of the government to take serious and practical steps towards addressing the region’s woes. “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 to the call and halted our strike actions hoping that you (PANDEF) would keep your own side of the bargain.”

In a related development, 56 ex-militants in Rivers State have called on Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to investigate alleged irregularities and corruption in the execution of the amnesty programme. In an open letter to the Vice President, the aggrieved ex-agitators said: “We are using this medium to inform you of the irregularities and corruption that have eaten up the vision of the late President Umaru Musa Yar ‘Adua. Our instant burden stems from the cries of woes occasioned by over 300 members out of whom only 56 of us are courageous to defend and fight for our rights. Our names are attached to the Presidential Amnesty Programme official delegated in recent times to Rivers State by the Special Adviser to the President on Amnesty Programme, in the person of Brigadier-General Paul T. Boroh (Rtd).

“It is therefore a matter of urgent national importance that you intervene expeditiously before this keg of gunpowder explodes and cause mayhem to the Niger Delta and the nation. We therefore, on behalf of our members urge you to use your good office to speedily intervene in this deplorable situation and ensure the prompt payment of our outstanding monthly stipends and restoration of our names to the amnesty programme.”

Attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta in 2016 cut Nigeria’s oil production to its lowest level in at least 30 years. The Nigerian economy, which is just coming out of a recession, will be severely affected if the NDA carried out its threat, say analysts.

Kola Tella

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