What You Don’t Know About the Niger Delta Avengers

Niger Delta Militants, this is not necessarily of Niger Delta Avengers(PHOTO: BlogWatch)

Niger Delta Militants, this is not necessarily of Niger Delta Avengers(PHOTO: BlogWatch)

The President today will be in Ogoniland for the initiation of the clean up exercise of the Ogoniland devastated through decades of oil exploration; a militant group has however since February 2016 been making headlines through their capacity to destroy oil infrastructure.

Their attacks have driven Nigeria’s oil output to near a 22-year low. Contrary to popular opinion, the group, Niger Delta Avengers, NDA for short, according to them is not just made up of Niger Deltans but has support from other parts of Nigeria, namely Northern, Western and Eastern part of the Country with the sole purpose of crippling the Nigerian Economy until their demands are met.

NDA Recent Attacks included:

  • Attack on Nigerian National Petroleum Coperation (NNPC) crude and gas lines – this Crude line feeds the Warri and Kaduna refineries respectively, while the gas line feeds the Lagos and Abuja electricity power supply. Warri and Kaduna refineries have been affected.
  • Chevron Oil Well at Egbema Creek in Warri
  • Shell, Agip Pipelines were also hit
  • Chevron Escravos Tank Farm
  • Forcados terminal crude oil export pipeline
  • Bonny Soku Gas Export Line
  • Agip Brass crude oil pipelines in Bayelsa,
  • Escravos- warri crude oil pipeline,
  • Escravos -Lagos- Abuja gas pipeline,
  • Alero Dibi Abiteye crude Crude oil pipeline and also,
  • the Escravos-Abiteye gas line

Things Being Demanded
– Immediate implementation of the report of the 2014 National Conference.
– 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 Ogoniland and indeed ll oil polluted lands in the Niger Delta must be cleaned up and compensation be paid to all oil producing communities.
– Nnamdi Kanu, the Leader of IPOB must be released unconditionally as the court said.

Nigeria Military’s Response

According to reports, Diplomats and security experts say the group has shown a level of sophistication not seen since the peak of the 2004-2009 insurgency, which halved Nigeria’s oil output. They say it must be getting help from sympathetic oil workers knowledgeable enough in identifying the pipelines to cause maximum damage. Authorities have no hard facts about the group – such as its size, bases or leadership. Only known name of member is that of the Spokesperson,  “Col. Mudoch Agbinibo” which might be a pseudonym.

Dissociation

Former militant leader Government Ekpemupolo, better known as Tompolo dissociated himself from the group, stating he is also a victim of the group. Eris Paul, a former leader of the now-defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) “Niger Delta Avengers are not fighting for the sake of Niger Delta,” , he also claimed “We don’t know them.” Ijaw communities leading tribe in Niger Delta also dissociated from all activities of the group. No one has publicly aligned with the Niger Delta Avengers.

What the Government is Doing

Following the spate of attacks, the Nigerian Military has increase its engagement in the Niger Delta with deployment of addition units that included 100 Gunboats, 4 Warships and Fighter jets to the area; this is to align with increase in Naval deployment in the area.

President Buhari has restated support in the clean up of the Ogoniland devastated through years of oil exploration. Also, a proposed restructuring of NIMASA has been put in place following years of endemic corruption; which might have resulted in Amnesty funds not getting to the right persons and groups.

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