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Fear and Panic As Niger Delta Avengers Declares Fresh War On Oil Facilities

Fresh crisis is looming in the Niger Delta region over allegations of unfulfilled promises and corruption levelled against the Federal Government and Office of the Niger Delta Amnesty Programme by  the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) and ex- militants respectively. Following what it described as unfulfilled promises and insincerity on the part of the Federal Government, the NDA said it would soon resume bombings in the region.

The group, in a statement posted on its website yesterday  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 gov ernment 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 produc tion, 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. “To the Nigerian government, we are aware of Egina FPSO built in South Korea by Samsung meant  to be operated by Total Nigeria is one of the biggest FPSO built in the Asian country. We are aware it 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 its movement; and God willing, it shall not operate successfully amidst the return of the fury of the Niger Delta Avengers.”

It declared that the fresh attacks would affect the nation’s oil facilities in the region and stop oil production, saying it was not interested in having further negotiations with the Federal Government.

“This outing will be brutish, brutal and bloody, as we shall crush everything we meet on our path to completely cut every pipe that takes oil out from our region.

“We can assure you that every oil installation in our region will feel the wrath of the Niger Delta Avengers.”

The group also denied any affiliation with the militant group, Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, accusing its operators of being used by the Federal Government to scuttle efforts by leaders in the region to force the government to develop the region.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian Navy has said it would not relent in its operations in the Niger Delta region to secure oil installations, lives and property.

The Navy Director of Information, Captain Suleman Dahun, said this on Friday while reacting to the threats made by the militants.

The navy recently began an exercise on October 30 in Bayelsa and Delta states called, ‘Operation Octopus Grip.’

It reportedly deployed troops and at least five gunships in the region.

Dahun said, “In the Niger Delta, we have several operations to secure lives and property, including the most recent Operation Octopus Grip. We are doing this to contain all threats and maintain the peaceful atmosphere in the Niger Delta.

“The navy is constitutionally mandated to ensure maritime security. This is our cardinal responsibility and it includes lives and property in the Niger Delta. Over the years, we have kept this mandate.”

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