The militant group blowing up oil and gas installations, the Niger Delta Avengers, has rejected an offer of talks with the Federal government. The group said on Twitter on Wednesday that it would have nothing to do with a committee authorized by the government to hold talks with its members.
“This is to the gen(eral) public we’re not negotiating with any committee. If Fed(eral) Gov(ernment) is discussing with any group they’re doing that on their own,” it said on Twitter. The minister of state for petroleum, Ibeh Kachikwu, had said on Monday that President Muhammadu Bubari had ordered a two-week cessation of military operations in the area to allow for negotiations. On Tuesday, the government ordered the immediate withdrawal of troops from Niger Delta communities amid allegations of harassment and indiscriminate arrest of locals. The Avengers, which previously attacked Chevron, Eni and Shell facilities, says it wants a sovereign state of Niger Delta, and has vowed to reduce Nigeria’s oil production to “zero”.
On Wednesday, the group announced that it had also blown up a Chevron well called “RMP 20” located next to Dibbi flow station in the Warri local government area of Delta State at 1 a.m. Attacks on oil facilities by the Niger Delta Avengers have reportedly slashed Nigeria’s output to the lowest level in 27 years. Total volume of crude shut due to the violence range from 700,000 to 800,000 barrels per day, according to the state-owned Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation.
Also, the Avengers, in a statement published on its website, claim that their struggle is focused on liberation of the people of Niger Delta from decades of divisive rule and exclusion, that the wind of change has come and they are not running after pipeline contracts. In the statement, the Avengers also dismissed the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) as dead, and advised the general public to disregard statements from disbanded criminal elements, adding that they are political sidekicks from the Edo state governor and their political paymasters.
“We appeal to the general public and all sane minds on the activities of Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) to disregards all purported statements and misplaced threat emanating from disbanded criminal elements like the so-called MEND that are political sidekicks and desperations from Gov. Adams Oshiomhole of Edo state, Mr. Timipre Silva and their political paymasters to hold their political party to the jugular of the affairs of the Niger Delta Region. “ That our struggle is focused on the liberation of the People of Niger Delta from decades of divisive rule and exclusion. We are watching keenly their regretful efforts at rebranding and regrouping criminal elements in the region for their short political gains and territories.
“The NDA is unperturbed, we have mandate that is clearly a departure of those old tactics of the defunct so-called MEND that was indulged in kidnapping, hostage taking, sea piracy, illegal oil bunkering, bank robberies and social crimes…” Another new militant group, the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF) has threatened to blow up Aso rock, where key government institutions including the presidential complex, the Nigeria national assembly and the Supreme Court be in the possession of persons who are sympathetic to the defendant. Government also said that the security of its witnesses will be blown up if they are made to testify publicly without any protection.
In a five paragraph affidavit deposed to by one Emmanuel Ikpebe in support of the motion, the Federal Government averred that Dasuki served in the intelligence unit of the army and that a large quantity of ammunitions was found in his house when searched, in addition to various foreign currencies that the defendant could not explain the source.
Consequently, the application prayed the court to hold that special circumstances have arisen to warrant the grant of the request. However, counsel to Dasuki, Joseph Daodu, SAN, told Justice Adeniyi Ademola that he has just been served with the motion that he needed time to respond. Justice Ademola subsequently adjourned hearing of the motion till June 23, 2016.