Niger Delta Avengers resume attack bomb 48 inches crude oil Export Line
After a lull, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) have resumed attacks on oil installations. The group claimed on Friday night that it attacked Bonny 48 inches crude oil Export Line in an undisclosed location in the Niger Delta.
Perturbed by the abrupt attack, the Ijaw National Congress (INC) has appealed to both the Federal Government and the militants to ensure that the ceasefire unilaterally declared by NDA continues to hold.
Shell Petroleum Development Company, which is presumed to own the attacked pipeline, is yet to make a categorical comment about the incident.
NDA spokesperson, Brig.Gen Mudoch Agbinibo, in a statement posted on the group’s site, claimed that on September 23, 2016, their strike team at 20:40PM destroyed oil productions activities at the Bonny 48 inches crude oil Export Line. He stated that the action was informed by the over dramatisation of the so-called dialogue and negotiation process on the side of President Muhammadu Buhari and his government.
“Since, the cessation of hostilities and the commitment of the Pan-Niger Delta Elders and stakeholders’ team, the Nigerian government and her agents are turning the expectations of the Niger Delta to shameful scenes obtainable in Nollywood, as well as, intimidations and blackmailing of Niger Delta sons and daughters. This is only a wake up call; we may not have other way to say it better.
“We are still in favour of dialogue and negotiations, but we are warning, we want the peace with honour. We will resist all actions undermining the ceasefire from side of the government and its security agents/ agencies.
“The world is watching, time is running against the Nigerian State; while we were promised that the concerns of Niger Delta will be addresses once a truce is declared, the activities of the government and her agents are not assuring enough, there has been no progress and no breakthrough,” he said.
INC President, Charles Harry said he had thought everything would have been done by all stakeholders to ensure that the ceasefire is sustained.
He blamed the attack on the Federal Government’s delay to come up with a clear-cut framework for dialogue with the militants, who have since February sustained attacks on critical oil and gas installations in the Niger Delta.
He urged the Niger Delta Avengers to give peace a chance and let the Federal Government prove its sincerity, to pursue peace in the Niger Delta region.
“We are trying to reach out, to know what would have caused the attack. The NDA has said they are still interested in dialogue. This attack, if it is true, is an ill wind that will not do both the government and the militants any good. This is a wrong signal. All concerned must do everything possible to sustain the prevailing calm in the Niger Delta,” Harry said.
Shell’s spokeperson, Mr. Precious Okolobo said: “We cannot comment on the reported incident. We will communicate relevant operational updates as necessary.”
The Federal Government has repeatedly blamed attacks on oil facilities for the country’s economic recession.
It would be recalled that the Niger Delta Dialogue Group (NDDCG), led by former military governor of Rivers State, king Alfred Diete Spiff, whose active engagement with other stakeholders, led to the declaration of sixty days ceasefire by the Niger Delta Avengers and other militant groups, had last week expressed concern that government is yet to set up a team to dialogue with militants in the Niger Delta.
The NDDGC at the end of its third meeting held in Port Harcourt, had noted that at a time when peace is being canvassed, the Nigerian Army launched the ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’.
It added that this had not helped to advance the spirit of confidence building and teamwork, which is needed to bring stability and peace to the region.