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Nigeria Army replies NDA, says decisive action awaits vandals

Less than 48 hours after the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) posted on its website that it has called off ceasefire on International Oil Companies (IOCs) and critical oil installations in oil-rich Niger Delta, the Nigerian military had warned that it would be decisive in dealing with fresh threats or any form of attacks oil installations in the country.

The response came on the heels of the dreaded militant group who posted on its website on Friday that “We can assure you that every oil installation in our region will feel the warmth of the wrath of the Niger Delta Avengers”.

The terse statement by NDA signed by its spokesperson ‘Major-General’ Murdoch Agbinibo, also added that “NDA would not to spare anything or anyone “in our path to actualise a united and free Niger Delta.”

However, the Nigeria Army responded to the threats by expressing its readiness to stop the group from succeeding in its plan to plunge the country into another round of economic crisis.

However, the new spokesman of Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), an arm of the military Joint Task Force (JTF), Major Abdulahi Abubakar, said he was unaware of the new threats as of the time he was contacted.

In an interview, the commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS DELTA), Warri Naval Base, Commodore Ibrahim Dewu, averred that “We are not taking it lightly. We are also preparing to respond as we are on red alert everywhere”.

Business Hilights recalls that due to the relative across the oil producing communities since the peace tour of the Vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, the country is witnessing an increase in oil income due to a rise in its crude oil export.

The country is presently producing about 2.2 million barrels per day owing to the relative peace in the Niger Delta after the intervention of the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) led by Chief Edwin Clark.

But the NDA in its statement chided what they saw as the sabotaging character of their elders and when ahead to name some leaders including the current Minister of Transportation and former governor of Rivers State, Barr Rotimi Amaechi who they said had failed the region in its aspirations.

According to the group, it is resuming attacks and bombardment due to observed poor sincerity by the current President Muhammadu Buhari administration on issues agreed during peace talks and promises for the Niger Delta.

NDA further condemned a former top militant in the region, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, saying he had failed to live up to his leadership roles for those who seek absolute “emancipation” for the region.

It would be recalled that the intensity of attacks by NDA last year forced leading IOCs like Shell and others to postpone some of their budgeted investments and operations in the region.

It was not clear if the sudden return to hostilities by NDA is linked to the recent revelation by the named Minister, that Nigeria government has sealed a territorial waters security contract with an Israeli company.

General Agbinibo expressed the anger of the group over “the disgrace” meted out to members of PANDEF during its fourth General Assembly held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, recently.

He said the “ignominious treatment” had justified the group’s earlier warning against “dining” with the Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government in a bid to dialogue.

“We want to make it known to the PANDEF and the Nigerian government that our call for halt on ‘Operation Red Economy’ is officially over.

“We have just concluded head count of our operatives across the country; we are pleased to announce that all our operatives are intact and focused; ready to implement instructions from the High Command of the NDA in the going few days,” he said.

“To the elders of the Niger Delta, PANDEF, we warned you against the antics of the Nigerian Government yet you requested a chance to broker a new vision for our people.

“We told you and the rest of the world that the Nigerian Government is only interested in our oil wells and not our well being yet you told us the signs are different this time around.

“Instead of allowing us to continue our quest to bring the Nigerian economy to our targeted zero daily production, which recorded huge success; you threatened us with Tompolo to stop the struggle; out of respect for elders and not to the threat of Tompolo we adhered to the call and halted our strike actions hoping you (PANDEF) would keep your own side of the bargain.

Agbinibo said further in the statement that the current “lethargic” and “deceptive” attitude of the Federal Government towards the Niger Delta region was responsible for the decision to resume the hostilities again.