Heightened tension in Niger Delta has serious implications for peace process initiated by Federal Government. On the 2nd of November, the Niger delta avengers (NDA) through its spokesman General Murdoch declared an end to the ceasefire agreement between the militant group and the FG.
The NDA emerged in the Southern Nigeria’s Niger Delta and gained notoriety in February 2016. Its attacks on oil installations in Niger Delta region led to substantial disruptions in oil production in Nigeria.
The immediate impact made by the group in 2016 comes to mind especially when its activities crippled the nation’s main economy; production of crude oil dropped to a record 22 year low.
The NDA became a revolutionary umbrella for other new militant groups in the region though the frequency of their attacks showed more coordination and articulation of their mission. They were also more sophisticated than other emergent groups.
Earlier in the year, security forces were deployed to the restive region to curb the militant activities in the state which later culminated into the Operation Delta Safe. Heightened presence of security and resurgence of militant actions makes civilian population in the region hostages between both forces.
Militant activities have resurfaced this year with several reports of attack on law enforcement agents and hijack of boats, there has been no direct attack on oil installations since the start of the year.
There was no militant attack in March, April and December. This is likely as a result of negotiations between the federal government and the militants.
Further analysis shows that attacks by the NDA are not limited to Delta state as the group conducted strikes in Akwa-Ibom, Bayelsa and Imo states. Though no attack has been made by the group in the South West region, there is a likelihood of its reach to the region.
NDA claimed responsibility of a large number of militant attacks in 2016. Unlike the (NDJGM) whose attacks were confined to Delta states, the group attacked oil installations in Delta, Bayelsa, Akwa Ibom and Rivers states.
Government response to the surge in NDA attacks in 2016 focused on a massive deployment of security forces with a mandate to seek out members of the militant groups.
Heightened presence of security forces created wide apprehension in the region. The Federal Government launched the ”Operation Delta Safe” to tackle militancy, pipeline vandalism and illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta States.
While the military were deployed to protect Nigeria’s oil installations, perceived invasions of communities only succeeded in stimulating local support for the militant group.
What to expect
- An attack by the group may lead to disproportionate response from military which will trigger civilian protest in the region.
- There is a likelihood of emergence of other groups with similar interests, their own demands and attacks on oil facilities in the restive region.
- Renewed hostilities in the Niger Delta will affect foreign direct investment; no one wants to invest in unstable and uncertain region. This will exert enormous pressure on Nigeria’s economy.
Timeline of NDA Attacks in Nigeria
- Feb 10: NDA blew up Bonny Soku Gas Export Line.
- Feb 13: NDA attacked SPDC underwater 48- inch crude oil export pipeline at Forcados Export Terminal in Delta state.
- Feb 19: NDA bombed the Clough Creek Tebidaba Agip pipeline manifold in Bayelsa State.
- May 4: NDA attacks a Chevron Valve Platform at Abiteye in Delta State.
- May 5: NDA launches a coordinated attack on Chevron’s Well D25 in Abiteye and blew up major pipelines in Delta state.
- May 13: NDA blew up Chevron pipeline and oil well near a military location in Makaraba in Delta state.
- May 20: NDA blew up NNPC’s Escravos Gas Pipeline in Delta state.
- May 22: A militant group attacked a crude oil pipeline belonging to Agip oil Company along the Azuzuama axis of the TebidabaBrass pipeline in Bayelsa state.
- May 25: NDA attacked a Chevron gas pipeline that provides electricity to the Escravos Tank Farm at Ciera creek in Delta.
- May 26: NDA blew up NNPC gas and crude trunk line in Warri, Delta state.
- May 27: NDA destroys the Nembe 1, 2 and 3 Brass to Bonny trunk lines belonging to Agip Oil Company and SPDC in Bayelsa state.
- Jun 1: NDA carried two coordinated attacks on Chevron’s Wells RMP 23 and RMP 24 at Dibi in Delta state.
- June 2: NDA bombed the Ogboinbiri to Tebidaba and the Clough Creek to Tebidaba crude oil pipelines in Bayelsa state.
- June 3: NDA blew up SPDC Forcados 48-inch export pipeline in Delta because the company went ahead with repairs against warnings by the militants.
- June 3: NDA blew up Brass to Tebidaba crude oil lines operated by SPDC and Italy’s ENI in Bayelsa state.
- June 8: NDA attacked Chevron operated RMP 20 well at Egbema in Delta state.
- June 10: NDA bombed the Obi Obi oil trunk line owned by Agip ENI in Bayelsa state.
- June 16: NDA bombed pipeline in Oruk Anam
- July 3: NDA bombed five oil pipelines in Abiteye
- NDA blew up pipeline in Ogbe-Ijoh
- July 4: NDA attacked Exxons Qua Iboe terminal
- July 18: NDA blasted oil pipeline belonging to Shell
- August 19: NDA destroyed pipeline in Oshimili
- September 23: NDA blasted pipeline in Bonny
- October 25: NDA destroyed offshore pipeline in Warri South
- November 8: NDA destroy pipeline near Warri
- November 15: NDA destroy oil pipeline in Nembe
Niger Delta Justice Greenland Mandate(NDJGM)
Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND)