New militant group, Niger Delta Avengers turn down dialogue with government

NIGERIA, Warri – Mainly composed of former Amnesty beneficiaries and with strongholds in creeks, in the southern part of the country, Niger Delta Avengers has been responsible for recent attacks on oil facilities in the region. The group’s position is hinged on a perceived marginalisation by the incumbent administration.

It was reported on Monday (13th June) that the NDA facilitated the release of pro-Biafran agitators held by the Nigerian military. NDA spokesman, Murdoch Agbinibo said it had forced seven state governors in the south and south-east of the country to act within 72-hour or risk their respective convoys being attacked.

They also warned that military and the police stations or bases would come under attack should the deadline be ignored.

Governors warned are: Victor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State; Henry Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, home-state of former president, Goodluck Jonathan; Willie Obiano of Anambra State; Dave Umahi of Ebonyi State; Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State; Rochas Okorocha of Imo State; and Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, the birthplace and strategic planning base of the group.

There is no flicker of hope regarding negotiations with the Federal government. The group’s intensification of activities has resulted in the blowing up of oil installations in the region marking a new chapter in its aim for secession.

A forerunner for the group stated categorically “One thing is clear. We have made it clear we are not going into any negotiations with the government. And we have made it crystal clear to them we need no dialogue. Let the war begin if they think they are not willing to let go of the oil blocks. We have no representative in any negotiation table” – this statement suggests upward mobility, resilience and will to pursue their deeply held beliefs by putting their words into action.

The Nigerian government last week made an agreement with Germany to start supplying military hardware to the country to help their effort to combat the Avengers. This has prompted the NDA’s sister group, IPOB, situated in the East of the country has urged the German Foreign Office to terminate the deal signed during the meeting of defence session of the Nigeria-Germany Bi-National Commission by the country’s Permanent Secretary, Mr. Marcus Elderer in Abuja.

Adedayo Osho

Political science graduate of University of Ado-Ekiti, Nigeria, freelance journalist and lead analyst for Adedayo Osho Centre For Civic & Political Enlightenment. He can be reached on Twitter @Jahpolitical