Fresh crisis looms in Niger Delta as Avengers threaten to resume bombings

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.”

In a related development, 56 ex-militants in Rivers State have called on Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, to investigate alleged irregularities and corruption in the execution of the amnesty programme. In an open letter to the Vice President, the aggrieved ex-agitators said: “We are using this medium to inform you of the irregularities and corruption that have eaten up the vision of the late Pres ident Umaru Musa Yar ‘Adua. Our instant burden stems from the cries of woes occasioned by over 300 members out of whom only 56 of us are courageous to defend and fight for our rights.

Our names are attached to the Presidential Amnesty Programme official delegated in recent times to Rivers State by the Special Adviser to the President on Amnesty Programme, in the person of Brigadier-General Paul T. Boroh (Rtd). “It is therefore a matter of urgent national importance that you intervene expeditiously before this keg of gunpowder explodes and cause mayhem to the Niger Delta and the nation. We therefore, on behalf of our members urge you to use your good office to speedily intervene in this deplorable situation and ensure the prompt payment of our outstanding monthly stipends and restoration of our names to the amnesty programme.”


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