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We’ll make you suffer, militants threaten oil majors



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THE Niger Delta Avengers has threatened to blow up more oil facilities in the Niger Delta if the Federal Government and other oil majors in the region fail to accede to their demand.
Last week, the group emailed journalists a statement saying they were fighting for an independent Delta and would step up their attacks unless oil firms left the region within two weeks.

“If at the end of the ultimatum you are still operating, we will blow up all the locations,” it said. “It will be bloody. So just shut down your operations and leave.”

“To international oil companies, this is just the beginning and you have not seen anything yet. We will make you suffer,” it said.

Little is known about the new radical group that has claimed a series of pipeline bombings in Nigeria’s oil-producing region. Their attacks have driven Nigerian oil output to near a 22-year low and, if the violence escalates into another insurgency in the restive area, it could cripple production in a country facing a growing economic crisis.

ALSO SEE: Militants strike again, threatens to take fight to Lagos, Abuja

The “Avengers” have carried out a string of attacks since February that reduced Nigerian oil output by at least 300,000 barrels a day of output, and shut down two refineries and a major export terminal.

In February the group claimed an attack on an undersea pipeline, forcing Shell to shut a 250,000 barrels a day Forcados terminal. Last week, it took credit for blasting a Chevron platform, shutting the Warri and Kaduna refineries. Power outages across Nigeria worsened as gas supplies were also affected.

There have been other smaller attacks and last week another explosion, which bore the hallmarks of the group, closed Shell’s Bonny Light export program.

ALSO SEE: “Be ready for consequences of your action” – military warns new Niger Delta militants

For Buhari, the campaign against former militants is a part of his election promise to fix a country gripped by graft and mismanagement, but many locals in the Christian south see him, a Muslim northerner, as an oppressor.

Buhari’s cutting of the amnesty plan’s budget has also caused widespread resentment in the Delta, as it helps fund job training for the unemployed. Tapping into such anger, the

“Avengers” point out that the former military ruler has never visited the Delta, where many roads are pot-holed and some villages are polluted from oil spills.


In a flurry of statements, the militants have published a list of demands, from cleaning up oil spills to keeping the amnesty plan, leading up to Thursday’s ultimatum. But, adding to the confusion surrounding the group, some former rebels have denied knowledge of the militants and say they have brought unwanted military attention to the area.