Niger Delta Avengers Threaten To Resume ‘Deadly’ Attacks

Chevron Pipeline, Niger Delta Militants, Delta

The Niger Delta Avengers has on Wednesday announced its plan to resume deadly attacks on oil installations and facilities in Nigeria’s oil-rich region.

Spokesperson of the militant group Murdoch Agbinibo in a statement which was published on the group’s website said the round of attacks will be the “most deadly and will be targeting the deep sea operations of the multinationals.”

Calling for the restructuring of Nigeria, the group said their plan to attack oil facilities in the oil-rich region of the country is due to killings and division happening in some parts of the country.

READ ALSO: Terrorism War: JTF Holds Strategic Meeting In Maiduguri

“On the 15th of January 2018, being the 62nd historic Remembrance Day of the 1956 discovery of commercial oil by Shell Darcy in the now forgotten and dejected Oloibiri Community in the Niger Delta; the high command of the ND Avengers summoned a meeting of all our operatives from across the Niger Delta to review the progress of our operations so far and deliberate on the planned actions for the future.

“It was agreed in that meeting that the killings and division presently playing out in Nigeria along divergent grounds makes this the perfect time to restructure this country. Our demand unambiguously is for the government to restructure this Country,” the statement read in part.

The group said after announcing a ceasefire in November 2017, some of the elders in Niger Delta intervened and appealed that they should ceasefire. The Avengers, therefore, said they are disappointed because the elders have not achieved any result.

“On the 3rd of November 2017 we promised to reactivate “operation red economy” but as usual some over patriotic elders intervened and appealed as they have done twice before then for us to avail them some more time to attend to the demands of the Niger Delta as championed by the Niger Delta Avengers.

“That we have not achieved any meaningful results despite the opportunities we have availed the Niger Delta elders means that they are either irresponsible or the Nigerian government is not sincere with them as it is their trade in stock.”

The group said they have resolved not to listen to the Niger Delta elders and all they wish for is Nigeria’s restructuring and a control the resources of oil-rich Niger Delta.

“We wish to state in plain terms that anybody against restructuring is an enemy of this country and particularly an enemy of the Niger Delta Avengers. We want to control our resources and directly use them to better our lot instead of been enslaved and made to beg before crumbs are released in a dress rehearsal-like manner to intervention agencies that are ineffective.

“While 1 Billion Dollars from the excess crude account is been released to fight a Boko Haram in the North; successive government acts blind to the very bold array of challenges our region from which this wealth is generated is facing.”

The group also accused the Nigerian Army of releasing 244 members of the Boko Haram sect to Borno state government while thousands of innocent Niger Delta youths suffer in various prisons across the country and demanded the release of Niger Delta activists held captive.

“It is on the above premise that we are demanding the immediate release of all Niger Deltans Activists and Freedom Fighters that are held captive by the Nigeria Armed Forces.”

We Are Ready To Contain Niger Delta Avengers’ Threats – Navy

Police, Sea Pirates, Rivers
FILE PHOTO: Nigerian Navy boat

The Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Admiral Ibok-Ete Ibas says the Nigerian Navy has the responsibility and capacity to contain the threat made by the Niger Delta Avengers as well as other criminal acts in the waterways.

Ibas said this during the annual inspection exercise at the NNS Delta Command in Warri, Logistics Headquarters command in Oghara and the Engineering College Sapele, Delta State.

Responding to questions from journalists, after addressing his officers and ratings, Chief of the Naval Staff speaks on the strategy being explored by the Navy to address criminalities on the nation’s waterways.

READ ALSO: We Are Ready To Engage Niger Delta Avengers – FG

He said the fresh threat by the Niger Delta Avengers should not be taken with levity, hence the readiness of the Nigerian Navy. He said the navy will not relent in ensuring the safety of national assets in the region.

“Threat by Niger Delta avengers, sea robbers, pirates and kidnappers are threats that the armed forces of Nigeria have a responsibility towards containing.

“We do not wait until a threat comes from a particular group before we act and what we do is to protect lives and properties against any threat most especially the ones against the nation’s assets recall that in the height of vandalism and sea robbery, the navy had to deploy the strategy of chokepoints to reduce the movement of most of these criminals,” he said.

We Are Ready To Engage Niger Delta Avengers – FG

militants
FILE PHOTO: Niger Delta Militants

The Federal government has said it is ready to engage with Niger Delta Avengers and other groups if they make their interests known.

This was said by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Usani Uguri, after he met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja, today, November 6.

He also debunks allegations that the government is not keeping its promises in the Niger Delta but called for patience.

READ ALSO: Why FG Is Recruiting Niger Delta Youths To Monitor Pipelines – Minister

It will be recalled that Niger Delta Avengers threatened to resume fresh attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria after they called off the ceasefire with the Federal Government on Friday, November 3, more than a year after it announced an end to attacks on oil installations and facilities in the oil-rich region of Nigeria.

Elders of communities in the region including, Chief Edwin Clark, elders in Gbaramatu Kingdom, have urged Niger Delta Avengers to sheath their swords and halt the threats to resume attacks on oil facilities in the region.

Niger Delta Avengers Cancels Ceasefire, Plans ‘Brutal’ Attacks

Chevron Pipeline, Niger Delta Militants, Delta

The Niger Delta Avengers has called off its ceasefire with the Federal Government, more than a year after it announced an end to attacks on oil installations and facilities in Nigeria’s oil-rich region.

Spokesperson of the militant group Murdoch Agbinibo announced the end to the ceasefire in a statement which was published on the group’s website on Friday.

In ending the ceasefire, it accused the Federal Government of working with a fraudulent group known as the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers which is bent on helping the government to jeopardise the “sincere efforts of the Niger Delta people” to achieve economic, social and political freedom.

The group also accused the government of being insincere in its efforts to address issues in the Niger Delta and blamed the elders for urging it to adopt a peaceful approach to drawing attention to the needs of people in the region.

“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 wellbeing yet you told us the signs are different this time around,” the statement read in part.

“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.”

Accusing the government of only being interested in the crude oil deposits in the region, the Avengers said, “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.”

Having trashed the ceasefire, the Niger Delta Avengers plan to launch “brutish, brutal and bloody” attacks on “every oil installation” in the region.

The militant group had declared a ceasefire in August 2016 after PANDEF and others including Vice President Osinbajo appealed to them to embrace peace and dialogue.

Between January 2016 and August, the group claimed responsibility for more than 20 attacks on oil facilities and installations in the Niger Delta.

These attacks led to a significant drop in the Nigeria’s oil output and hurt the country’s economy which was at the time under the grip of a recession owing largely to a slump in oil prices.

As the attacks took a toll on the country’s oil output, many, including President Muhammadu Buhari, appealed to the group to embrace dialogue.

The Federal Government also promised to address issues raised by the militants and PANDEF and develop the region.

Beyond that, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo visited Niger Delta states in January and held meetings with PANDEF and community leaders.

The militants are, however, insisting that the government has not kept its promises and that it has not been insincere about its plans for the region.

 

Imo Govt. Approves 2bn Naira For Infrastructural Development

Imo Govt. Approves 2bn Naira For Infrastructural Development The Imo state government has approved the sum of two billion Naira as take-off funds for the rehabilitation and construction of major infrastructure in the oil producing Ohaji Egbema and Oguta local government areas.

The state Governor, Rochas Okorocha, disclosed this at a meeting with the members of the Imo state Amnesty committee in Owerri, the state capital south east Nigeria.

The meeting is the first of its kind after the inauguration of the Imo amnesty committee in October 2016.

Weeks after granting the amnesty, the government set up the committee, to carry out specific tasks of consolidating on the success of the amnesty and ensuring that peace returns to the areas.

The committee which is headed by the wife of the Imo state Governor Nkechinyere Okorocha, is also saddled with the responsibility of developing and rehabilitating the areas.

3 months after its inauguration, the committee reported that about 2,800 ex-militants registered for the programme and were ready to seek peace in the region.

Mr Okoracha then explained that the funds were being released in order to sustain the success thus far.

In his words “If you can remember, we had amnesty to over 2,000 militants in Ohaji Egbema and Oguta last year and shortly after that, we inaugurated the amnesty committee headed by the First Lady.

“After 3 months, they are back to give their reports and as you can see, they have registered about 2,800 militants with their forms, and in order to meet up their demands, we are approving the sum of two billion Naira for the take off of rehabilitation works and construction in the area” the Governor said

Furthermore, he stated: “We also made available some funds as financial assistance to some of the ex-militants in order to start a business of their choice, this will go a long way to solving their problems”.

Excited about this development, the committee said they would move to the area as soon as possible, to commence the rehabilitation and construction of schools, hospitals and other meaningful projects that would restore the pride of the communities.

NNPC Targets 60% Local Refining Capacity For 2017

NNPCThe Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), says it is targeting a refining capacity of 60 % in 2017, to reduce the importation of petroleum products into the country.

The group Managing Director of the corporation, Dr Maikanti Baru, explained that NNPC is keen on ending product importation in a few years and that concrete plans are on ground to achieve that.

In his words, “we are putting together various programmes to ensure that we achieve at least 60 per cent local refining by the end of this year.

“It is the procedure or methodology that we are changing a little bit, we are focusing on the process licensors to come and audit our processes and they have already started auditing most of our process units in the various refineries.”

Dr. Baru also appealed to residents not to vandalise pipelines, which has become a big challenge to the growth of the oil and gas sector.

A group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers, had claimed responsibility for serious attacks on oil installations.

Again recently, the group declared “Operations Walls of Jericho and Hurricane Joshua“, signifying an intention to resume attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria’s southern region.

Made In Nigeria

With the crash in oil prices, in a country that has solely relied on oil as a major source of revenue, the Federal Government of Nigeria has since begun to look for alternative sources of revenue generation.

Areas such as agriculture and manufacturing, have proven to be the most viable means of reviving the nation’s economy, from what has been described as the worst recession in Nigeria’s history.

In the light of this development, Nigeria’s Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, recently flagged off a Made-in-Nigeria challenge, aimed at encouraging local manufacturers and entrepreneurs in the country.

‘Niger Delta Avengers’ Declares Operations Walls Of Jericho, Hurricane Joshua

Chevron Pipeline, Niger Delta Militants, DeltaThe Niger Delta Avengers says it has declared “Operations Walls of Jericho and Hurricane Joshua”, signifying an intention to resume attacks on oil facilities in Nigeria’s southern region.

It blamed the government for failed negotiations, saying it has turn a deaf ears to their requests.

The militant group that had halted attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region for negotiation with the Nigerian government on Friday asked all fighters and commands to be on “high readiness in your webs of operations to hit and knock the enemy very hard”.

In a statement by the spokesman for the group, Brigadier General Mudoch Agbinibo, published on its website, the militant group said that the remaining 11 months and couples of weeks in 2017 would be filled with surprises and a reconfiguration of the struggle for the liberation of their motherland.

It read: “Since, the declaration of cessation of hostilities in the region by all fighters and affiliates, it has been evidently clear that the Nigerian state is not ready for any form of dialogue and negotiation with our people to addressing the issues sustaining the unending sufferings and deprivation of the people of the Niger Delta.

“The world is aware that, after listening to calls from our Royal Fathers, Community Leaders, Stakeholders and members of the comity of nations especially the governments of the United States of America, Great Britain and the European Union, we halted all actions”.

Operations Red Economy

The Niger Delta Avengers further stated that the prospect for hope for a genuine dialogue and negotiations had been dashed and rejected.

“The world knows that PANDEF as team of critical stakeholders was mandated to engender a genuine dialogue and negotiations process that will be made of apolitical committed Niger Deltans to engage with the government and people of Nigeria, representatives of the International Oil Corporations and neutral observers. But this government decides to go around to politicising and blackmailing the process to forestall any genuine dialogue and negotiations.

“The world should be assured that, our next line of actions to redeem Operations Red Economy will be unannounced with surely overwhelming signatures to this government and humanity.

“The world is aware that, the government of Nigeria has ear problems but we never knew that it has taken a deteriorating deaf level dimensions. It is only through hard knocks we can speak to the Nigerian government henceforth.

“It is our believes that, the 2017 national budget of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is not based on the crude oil production output from the Niger Delta but it is based on the newly found oil deposits in the North and the new pipelines construction from the Niger Republic.

“It is also worthy to inform the IOCS and their partners that have been awarded the 2017/2018 crude oil term contracts by the Nigerian state that their contract at a time when the Nigerian State has turn deaf ears to the Niger Delta Agitation is seen as a conspiracy against our people that will fail. These contracts will make or mare the destinies of your companies in our Niger Delta,” the group stated.

The group further restated its readiness to “reclaim our motherland and dislodge all cleavages the Nigerian Ruling oligarchy has foisted on the region that is sustaining the ongoing primitive accumulation by dispossession”.

 

Jonathan, Okowa Take Message Of Peace To Niger Delta Region

goodluck-jonathan-and-ifeanyi-okowaFormer President Goodluck Jonathan and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State have taken a message of peace to the creeks of the Niger Delta.

According to both leaders, the destruction of pipelines and other national assets in the area has not only affected revenue generated to the Federation Accounts but, has also, reduced revenue accruable to Delta State.

They both spoke during the presentation of the Staff of Office to the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom, HRM Oboro Gbaraun II, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State, agreeing that peace is the only solution for meaningful development to take place.

Thrilled with the display of a rich cultural heritage showcased by the people of Gbaramatu, the former President told the crowd that dialogue and peace were the only way forward.

“We need peace for development to take place, Nigeria is a great nation, no matter what is happening, Nigeria will, Niger Delta will succeed, Gbaramatu Kingdom will succeed” Dr. Jonathan said.

The ceremony, which was colourful, attracting political office holders, traditional rulers, captains of industries, friends and well wishers, caught the excitement of the Delta State Governor Ifeanyi Okowa.

He said: “It is time we realise that under a peaceful atmosphere, where everybody lives in peace, we can build a future of trust for our children.

“There is no alternative to partnership, when you are aggrieved, you have reasons to feel bad but, we can carry out our agitations with dialogue. It is time to forgive those who needs to be forgiven because, when we do that, it will be easier for us to speak boldly and be heard”.

Thanking the state governor, HRM Oboro Gbaraun II encouraged his people to always uphold the culture and tradition of the Gbaramatu Kingdom.

Both leaders are pushing for peace in the region where militancy has resurged since second quarter of 2015, with oil facilities bearing the brunt.

Some oil companies have declared force majeure, as attacks on oil facilities increased.

A group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks that have dropped oil production output to less than 1.6 million barrels per day, dipping the nation’s revenue at a time it needs funds to finance deficit in its budget.

Attacks on oil pipelines have also affected power generation, with plants, which largely rely on gas supply from the Niger Delta region shutting down.

The situation has also forced the nation to reconsider more input in hydropower generation that it had relied on before huge gas deposit was discovered.

16 Things Niger Delta Leaders Say Will End Militancy

niger-delta-indigenes-and-muhammadu-buhariTraditional leaders and some other indigenes of Nigeria’s Niger Delta have presented 16 things they are confident will end militancy and bring development in the region if the government will consider them.

They presented the requests to President Muhammadu Buhari at a meeting held on Tuesday in Abuja.

Addressing reporters after the two-hour meeting, the leaders of the group, the traditional ruler of Amanyanobo Kingdom, King Alfred Diete-Spiff and Mr Edwin Clark decried the lack of infrastructure, human resource, manpower and welfare of the people years after oil exploration began in the Niger Delta.

Their Demands

They want the government to empower its people through training, open up the economy of the region through adequate investment in infrastructure and cleaning up of oil spills that have affected their farmlands and waters among others.

President Buhari was also asked to pull the army out from the oil hub, order oil firms to move headquarters there and spend more on development to end militancy in the region.

16 Points Presented By the Niger Delta Leaders

  1. Pull the army out from the region
  2. Order oil firms to move headquarters there
  3. Oil firms to employ more of its youths
  4. More funds for the development
  5. More funds for the amnesty plan for ex fighters
  6. Empower its people through training
  7. Adequate investment in infrastructure
  8. Cleaning up of oil spills …Read more

King Diete-Spiff said: “The list also includes the withdrawal of the military in oil producing communities in the region.

“We don’t want the communities militarised”.

They also want firms to move headquarters to the region so unemployed youths – who often work for militants – could get more jobs. Foreign firms active in Nigeria are often based in the commercial capital Lagos.

The Niger Delta leaders also asked for more funds for the development and an amnesty plan for ex fighters which Buhari had planned to cut, which has upset the militants.

President Buhari had in May sent in army reinforcements to hunt down militants, a move that stoked anger, triggering more attacks on oil installations in the region, with a demand for more share of the oil revenue.

Nigerian Navy, Niger Delta Creeks, Choke Points
Nigerian Navy also patrols waterways in the region

The meeting became necessary, after months of attacks on oil facilities, brought down crude oil output and dipped the nation’s revenue.

On his part the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, expressed joy that leaders in the region had come to put the demands forward, said that crude oil production in Nigeria had appreciated to 2.1 million barrels per day following the peace that was gradually returning to the region.

He has a responsibility to ensure that Nigeria meets its quota in the oil market and he observed that relative peace was necessary to achieve it.

The Niger Delta region has been described as the goose that lays the golden eggs.

But years of neglect have led to degradation of the region and subsequent administrations in Nigeria have done nothing about it.

Youths in the region have come in various colours of agitation, blowing up the pipelines, adding to the degradation of the region

But President Buhari’s administration may bring a turnaround to the region, if the agreement reached at the two-hour meeting of Tuesday would be implemented.

crocodile-smile
Troops of Operation Exercise Crocodile Smile in Niger Delta

Also at the meeting were the Vice President, state governors, ministers, service chiefs and other well-meaning citizens from the Niger Delta.

Talks at the meeting also focused on how to end the constant destruction of facilities in the region.

Over six militant groups have sprang up in the Niger Delta region, the latest being the Niger Delta Avengers.

Reports from some of the groups indicate that they may not be part of the meeting called by the Federal Government, raising doubt as to full representation of all agitating splinter groups.

This is just one in the series of meetings the government has designed to bring a lasting peace to the Niger Delta region.

With the meeting and demands presented to the government, it is hoped that hostility in the region in form of attacks on oil installations would cease.

Channels Television’s correspondent, Chukwuma Onuekwusi, says the next few weeks will determine if indeed the youths of the area have agreed to sheathe their sword and let peace reign, as government works towards meeting the needs of the people.

A group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers that has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks had at a point announced a ceasefire decision and its readiness for negotiations with the Federal Government but later attacked an oil facility, saying it was a warning to military in the area to stop harassing youths and residents of the region.

The military had established two operations in the region, operation Delta Safe and Operation Exercise Crocodile Smile, to quell militant activities.

Shell Resumes Oil Exports From Forcados Terminal

ShellRoyal Dutch Shell has resumed crude oil exports from the forcados terminal. This follows the restoration of the damaged facilities by Niger-Delta militants in the south-south region of the country.

The development was communicated to the presidency by the Director of Global Upstream of Shell, Andrew Brown.

Forcados crude has been under force majeure from operator, Shell, since a militant attack on the sub-sea pipeline in February.

Exports from the terminal was between 250,000 and 300, 000 barrels per day before the strike claimed by militant group, Niger Delta Avengers.

Meanwhile, the militant group at about 4am on Wednesday reportedly blew up a Chevron offshore export pipeline at Escravos in Delta State.

Avengers Blow Up Chevron Pipeline In Delta State

Chevron Pipeline, Niger Delta Militants, DeltaMilitant group, Niger Delta Avengers, has blown up a pipeline in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.

A source at the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta confirmed the attack.

He said that the bombing was carried out at about 4:00am on Tuesday and destroyed the Chevron Escravos Export Pipeline at Escravos offshore.

There has been relative peace in the Niger Delta region for few months with different groups asking the Federal Government to dialogue with the militants.

The Avengers are the prominent militants in the oil-rich region, claiming responsibility for most of the recent attacks on the oil facilities.

The chain of attacks on pipeline has drastically affected Nigeria’s economy in the face of its recession.

The group had declared in August that it was halting hostilities to pursue talks with the government.

They said they expected a genuine and positive attitude to restructuring and self-determination for every component unit of Nigeria.

In an open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari, written after they agreed to ceasefire, the militants pointed out that they had “listened carefully and halted hostilities” in the region.

However, they claimed that ongoing military operations in the creeks of Ijaw communities were pre-determined genocide in Niger Delta and were capable of jeopardizing the chances of achieving permanent peace.

Ijaw National Council Warns FG, Condemns Proliferation Of Adhoc Groups

 

militant, NPDC, Delta, Pipelines, Crisis, Negotiation
The council says there are too many parties jostling to be part of the negotiation talks with FG

At least 32 groups have emerged and are scrambling to be part of negotiations with the Federal Government over the Niger Delta crisis.

This was according to the President of the Ijaw National Council, Charles Harry, who mentioned this during a meeting of the council with journalists in Port Harcourt, the Rivers state capital.

The Ijaw leader who described it as inimical to the interest of the region, called on the federal government to avoid ad-hoc arrangements which is believed to only produce temporary relief.

Ceasefire Agreements

There have been several attacks on oil facilities in the region, leading to a drop in oil output of the nation that relies largely on crude oil sales for revenue.

A group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks.

Recently, it said it has agreed to a ceasefire and was ready for negotiation with the Federal Government.

Ijaw national council, adhoc groupsThe Ijaw council however opined that the recent bombings in the Niger Delta even in the face of ceasefire agreements, are also an expression of grievances.

This according to them is over what they believe is the “persecution of the Former President, Jonathan, by prosecuting his wife Patience Jonathan”.

‘Don’t touch Mrs Jonathan’

The Niger Delta Avengers had threatened to initiate more attacks if Mrs Jonathan is arrested, suggesting that the EFCC should begin with the “prosecution of past first ladies”.

One of the groups, Ijaw Youth Congress (IYC) headed by Udengs Eradiri said “Mrs Jonathan should not have to answer any questions from the EFCC as she got her wealth through gratification and ‘thank you’ gifts from those who seek her help”.

Mr Eradiri also made reference to the funds allegedly recovered from ex-Governor of Bayelsa State, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha.

He alleged that “Bayelsa state money is in their coffers” saying such monies ought to be put back into the state for its well-being.

The Avengers appear to have split into several groups, making the task of securing proper negotiations with the actual group seem a bit daunting for the government.

However, with the military’s initiation of Operation Delta Safe and Exercise Crocodile Smile, there are hopes that there will soon be an end to the attacks on oil installations.