NDA bombs oil pipeline as militants threaten to back out of Buhari, Clark talks

The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) yesterday renewed its reign of terror on oil installations in the region with an attack on Chevron Escravos Export Pipeline in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
With the action, the group had made good its recent threat to return to the trenches over what it termed insensitivity of the Federal Government to respect the wishes of the people of the region to convene a pan-Niger Delta stakeholders forum where issues that border on the genuine development of the region would be extensively discussed.
The group, in a statement by its spokesman, Brig-Gen. Murdoch Agbinibo, said NDA strike team attacked the oil facility at about 3:45am yesterday.
The attack, he said, was to further warn international oil companies (IOCs) to cease the repairs of oil pipeline pending the conclusion of peace talks between representatives of the region and the Federal Government.
The statement read in part: “At about 3:45am our strike team 06 took down Chevron Escravos export pipeline at Escravos offshore. This action is to further warn all IOCs that when we warn that there should be no repairs pending negotiation/dialogue with the people of the Niger Delta, it means there should be no repairs. Any attempt to use dialogue to distract us so as to allow the free flow of our oil will halt the dialogue process.”
The Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM) had last week issued similar warning to multinational oil companies not to attempt repair works on some damaged pipelines especially the Trans-loading Forcardos Pipelines (TFP).
The group which threatened more devastating attacks on multinational facility in the region should its warning be discountenance, restated its commitment to the regional struggle.
Meanwhile, militants have threatened to withdraw support for the proposed meeting between the Federal Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Chief Edwin Clark-led Pan Niger Delta Forum (PNDF) if the lopsided representations was not addressed.
Reports indicated that Buhari and Clark are set for a meeting on Monday, October 31, in Abuja to fashion out a way to resolve the lingering crisis in the region, which has drastically affected oil output in the country with a ripple effect on the economy.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) had recently thrown its back behind the meeting expressing confidence in Buhari to address the issues of the region.
However, militants under the aegis of Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA) and Niger Delta Peoples Professional Volunteers Force (NDPPVF) kicked against the composition of the PNDF, and called for a re-composition if the proposed meeting would have their blessings.
The two militant groups in a joint press statement to Chief Clark and signed by Cynthia Whyte called for the inclusion of Mr. Timipa Jenkins Okonipere as a member of PNDF because of his understanding of the problems in the region and his link with the militant group.
According to them, Okonipere, an international lawyer being a member of the PNDF would give militants assurance that they are being carried along in the peace process.
They called on Chief Clark’s PNDF to contact Okonipere and include him as a member, adding that if they refused the two groups would withdraw support for the meeting and resume passive hostility
Okonipere when contacted said he has been in the struggle and would continue to fight for the emancipation of the Niger Delta region.
An Ijaw traditional title-holder from Gbaramatu Kingdom, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, has urged the militants to ceasefire and give peace a chance.
“Having waited these long, the agitators should still give the Federal Government more time to decide on the dialogue with the people of the region,” he said
He also appealed to the Federal Government not to delay in convening the pan Niger Delta Stakeholders meeting in order to bring peace to the region.


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