Irked by a recent military exercise against militants in the Niger Delta, a group operating in the region has at the weekend damaged a pipeline operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC in Delta state.
The Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate claimed responsibility for the bombing of the pipeline, in what it said was a response to a military offensive against the oil rebels.
The group said it staged the attack “to register our presence” and protest “the calculated psychological attack recently initiated by the Nigerian security forces against our people.”
In a statement late Sunday, it vowed to continue the bombings despite a government truce offer.
The federal government deployed troops since July to hunt down the militants while at the same time opening peace talks in a bid to end the violence.
Since February, several militant groups have stepped up attacks on the nation’s oil and gas facilities, hurting government revenues at a time of a global fall in crude prices.
The groups claim to be seeking a fairer share of Nigeria’s multi-billion-dollar oil wealth for the Niger delta people in the southern swamplands — as well as greater political autonomy.
One of the groups, the Niger Delta Avengers, announced a ceasefire in August by accepting a government truce offer. But the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate has stepped up its attacks.
Nigeria depends on the oil sector for 70 percent of government revenue and 90 percent of foreign exchange.