Hyacinth Chinweuba/Yemisi Izuora
Niger Delta Avengers
Militant group, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) said it has blown up another pipeline in Bayelsa State.
The latest attack occurred at the Nembe 1, 2 and 3 trunk line which is jointly operated by Agip, Oando and Shell Petroleum Development Company.
NDA spokesperson, Mudoch Agbinibo made the disclosure via a statement.
“At about 11.45pmNovember 15, 2016, our elite Strike Team 03 struck Nembe 1, 2 and 3 truck line operated by Agip, Oando and Shell with supply capacity of 300,000 barrel per day to Bonny export terminal in Bayelsa State,” Agbinigbo wrote.
“This is in response to the so-called “Operations Sharkbite,” an art of terrorism commissioned by the tyranny of the Nigerian Navy establishment and orchestrated by some elements of the ruling political class to continuously undermine any effort by the Nigerian state to addressing the legitimate demands of the people of the Niger Delta and as well a conspiracy to bloat the accounts of some security contractors and conflict merchants within the party structure of the APC.
“We are only reiterating our strong resolve that, time is running against the Nigerian government, that there is doom ahead.
The Nigerian government needs our cooperation more than we need the government as it concerns the extraction of the crude oil and hydrocarbon resources in our God-given land.
“We are determined to continue this war by all means necessary, until that environment prevails for a genuine dialogue and negotiations within the framework of the 16- point key demands presented to President Muhammadu Buhari by PANDEF on the 1st of November 2016.
“We want the peace with honour, we do not want the ‘peace of our time’. Since that moment military was drafted into the Niger Delta as an instrument of suppression to our fatherland against all peaceful protest and legitimate demands, the fear had gone. The message is getting stronger with more messengers,” he added.
The group had earlier explained that it was forced to resume attacks due to the government’s insincerity in negotiating a peace deal.
Meanwhile, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has met with some leaders of the Niger Delta at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier this month met with some leaders of the region who presented 16 demands to the President as a panacea for lasting peace in the region.
The stakeholders also presented some fresh demands to the vice president at the meeting.
According to them, certain salient issues were left out in the earlier presentation to the president, such as the issue of derivation which was completely delisted from the list.
“Specifically, we had an item where the boys demanded their 6,000 job losses from the multinationals. In the amnesty programme, we are asking for a democratisation (in order) to capture some legitimate beneficiaries who were left out in the first exercise. These were some of the key issues that were left out in the first exercise,” a source at the meeting said.
According to the source, The vice president was said to have told the delegation that they should first address the issue of continued vandalism in the region which, he said, is the most important issue.
Osinbajo was said to have told the elders that the problems in the region had always been there, and that if the elite in all regions of the country decide to end the problems in their regions, the problems will be resolved.
He was also said to have told them that independent producers who are Nigerians are the ones who always suffer the effects of vandalism and not the international oil companies (IOCs).
The secretary of the Niger Delta People’s Congress (NDPC), Professor Benjamin Okaba, explained that the delegation was not only to re-affirm the plausible submissions made earlier but to also prioritise these concerns and place them in clearer perspectives.
He said this is premised on their objective assessment of the anxieties, sentiments and myriads of reactions from the key drivers and players in the crises across and outside the region that immediately trailed the first meeting.
He expressed confidence that their modest contributions, as articulated, would constitute the panacea to the age long crises in the Niger Delta region.
He said that some of the fresh demands hinged on political reconstruction and fiscal federalism.
Okaba said: “We are persuaded to uphold that the nation practises true federalism with legitimate and acceptable division of power among the constituents (the centre and regions) and the principle and practice of ownership and management of resources by the constituents.
“The derivation principle should allow the different units annex and control their resources and pay appropriate and agreed tax to the centre.
“Demilitarisation and peace/confidence building: we are persuaded to request the federal government to stop further invasion of the region under any guise, release unconditionally all freedom fighters from detention and deploy political solution to the issues surrounding the leadership of the agitators/freedom fighters.
“Cause multinational corporations not only to relocate their operational bases to the region but, more significantly, create a minimum of 6,000 jobs for the teeming population of unemployed and restive youths of the region.
“Cause the resumption of academic activities at the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, Delta State, and establish similar institutions in other parts of the region.”
Okaba listed others to include funding interventionist agencies by releasing over N800 billion outstanding allocations to the NDDC and building of more modular type refineries, petrochemical and other petroleum related industries to add value to the crude oil and gas produced from the region.
He continued: “Environmental and Human Rights Protection: To drastically reduce the current state of environmental degradation and threat to life occasioned by the activities of the multi-national corporations in the region.
“We recommend that the federal government should urgently cause the appropriate agencies and corporations to begin the comprehensive remediation (clean-up, etc.) of the Niger Delta environment affected by oil spill.
“Provide medical facilities and attention to people suffering from ailments associated with oil and gas activities; prompt the legislative process for the review of the nation’s laws on environmental impact and give stiffer penalties to defaulters; cause the immediate implementation of all laws stopping gas flaring in the region; cause the establishment of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camps for the re-settlement of displaced persons at Bakassi, Gbaramatu,” etc.