The Niger Delta Avengers have gone into panic mode as rumours spread about President Muhammadu Buhari offering the world’s biggest and most brutal private military contractor Blackwater $280 million to tackle the militants sabotaging Nigeria’s economy.
“The Niger Delta Avengers do not care if the federal government hires or concludes plans to bring in Bluewater, Graywater, Pinkwater, Whitewater or Blackwater mercenaries from Saudi Arabia,” NDA’s spokesperson Gen. Mudoch Agbinibo told the Vanguard. “The Niger Delta region will win this war.”
Agbinibo and his group of rag-tag vandals have only seen action in the creeks of Delta. Many Nigerians believe he might just be half-heartedly spewing some war rhetoric he and his group can’t actualise when faced with the North Carolina-based soldiers of fortune.
It gets more serious now that the Nigerian government has spurned the dialogue option it took earlier—and has laid it in the line for the saboteurs.
“The so called avengers are not freedom fighters,” said VP Yemi Osibajo in lecture he delivered last week in Ondo. ‘They are avenging for their private pocket and that is why government is not talking with them.”
According to him, the federal government has concluded arrangements to tackle the menace of pipeline vandalism in the Niger Delta region.
And here comes the Blackwater deal. It may be real. And it may be a figment of imagination of the online conspiracy theorists—since there’s no official attribution to it.
But what is not in question is the brute force of the intending Avengers’ slayer—Blackwater.
- Blackwater was originally called Xe Services. Founded by ex-Navy SEAL Erik Prince in 1997, its infamy for bloody fights and acquisition could have informed its ever-changing monikers: from Xe Sevices to Blackwater in 2009. Seven years after, the world’s biggest private military contractor (PMC) currently goes by the name Academii—a name it adopted in 2011.
- It has a tastefully equipped and 6,000 acre-wide training facility in North Carolina, including the largest shooting range in America and a lake for naval training. It has about 20,000 hired guns, and no fewer than 20 gunships.
- It’s been doing the black bag jobs for the CIA and other America’s federal agencies in the U.S, Iraq, and Afghnaistan.
- The CIA signed it on for a black op to take out Al-Qaeda leaders all over the world.
- As of December 2015, Saudi Arabia employed the PMC to rattle the Yemeni terrorist group Ansrullah. The poverty-ridden Yemeni citizens plumbed the depth of Blackwater’s ruthlessness.
- Because of the juicy contracts it won un-opposed in 2002 from the US government, Blackwater inked $1 billion in turnover as of 2006.
- To let you know it doesn’t so much care a fig, Blackwater Worldwide, one of several Blackwater franchises, in 2005 suffused a crowded green zone in Iraq with CS nerve gas from a chopper and an armored vehicle.
- Its recruits are war-hardened veterans, retired CIA assets, and others.
- Blackwaters trained Nigerian security agencies during the Bill Clinton government in the U.S. So pounding the Niger Deltan business is just a repeat business.
10.Blackwater’s founder Prince is a hard-core Christian Republican who enjoys a warm relationship with the conservatives in the American Congress
Concerns now mount on the impact of this likely arms struggle on the already battered Niger Delta.
“Well over 75 riverside communities are adversely affected by the unabated bombings by militants, illegal bunkering and oil theft as well as the failure of the multinational oil firms to adopt environmental best practices,” Sheriff Mulade, coordinator of the Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice and chairman of Kokodiagbene community in Gbaramatu, told the Vanguard.
The effect on Nigeria’s economy is worse. Daily oil production now is around 800,000 barrels daily, up from about 2.1 million barrels daily.
And that’s the more reason Buhari might want to do his utmost to degrade the Avengers in the nick of time.
The militant group is just about six months old.