- Group threatens ‘something that will shock the whole world’
Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
With the second bombing of another oil pipeline near Warri, Delta State, in as many days, emergent militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, announced on Friday that its strike force successfully blew up an oil trunk line belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
In message on its Twitter handle on the morning of Friday, May 27, 2016, the new face of militancy in the oil-rich Niger Delta said that it carried out the bombing just before midnight on Thursday.
On Thursday, the Niger Delta Avengers had similarly tweeted that it blew up a deepwater crude pipeline belonging to American oil giant, Chevron, near Abiteye in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.
The group noted that it carried out Thursday’s attack in keeping with its warning that the international oil company should not attempt to fix its strategic pipeline at Abitiye area the group had blown up recently.
The renewed attacks also coincided with with the Niger Delta Avengers’ ultimatum to oil companies operating in the Niger Delta to stop production and move out of the region.
Nevertheless, the yet mysterious militant group said that it successfully carried out the bombing of the pipeline despite the fact that the facility was heavily guarded by military personnel.
The group’s Friday’s twitter message simply said, “At 11:45 p.pm. on Thursday, @NDAvengers (Niger Delta Avengers) blew up another #NNPC Gas and Crude trunkline close to Warri. Pipeline that was heavily guarded by the military.”
The group, while acknowledging the reported meeting of Niger-Delta stakeholders meeting held last Wednesday in Abuja, it described it as an insult to the sensibility of the people of the Niger Delta region, which it said needs independence from the Nigerian federation.
It said it was infuriated by talks of the Federal Government offering the region palliatives including contracts to carry out surveillance of pipelines in the region against vandalism and crude theft.
“The Niger Delta stakeholders’ meeting is an insult to the people of the Niger Delta. What we need is a sovereign state, not pipeline contracts”, it declared.
It further warned via its Tweeter handle, “To the International Oil Companies, IOCs, and the Nigeria military, watch out! Something big is about to happen and it would shock the whole world.”
There are growing lamentations by the Federal Government and other stakeholders about the huge financial losses due to the drastic cuts created by the series of oil facility bombings just as the electricity supply in most parts of the country has hit very low levels owing to the shortage of gas supply to the electricity generation companies (gencos).
Amid the warnings and threats from the presidency and military authorities to apply severe military measures to crush the militants and halt the bombing of oil facilities, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) had, on the same day that the meeting of Niger Delta stakeholders was holding at the nation’s capital, alleged that the federal government through the minister of state for petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, had concluded plans compromise the Niger Delta Avengers.
Specifically, the PDP claimed that Kachikwu planned “to bribe the militants with $10 million” in a desperate bid to stop its violent campaign by the militants targeting oil installations and dip production levels.
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