Niger Delta Militants

Niger Delta Avengers: Summary 16 May 2016

The Niger Delta Avengers introduced themselves to the world in February 2016 after claiming responsibility for the attack of an underwater pipeline belonging to Shell forcing the company to shut down its Forcados export terminal for weeks. Four days after the attack, NDA stated that they will continue blowing up pipelines until the Niger Delta people were no longer marginalized.

Forcados

The NDA claimed responsibility for an attack on the underwater pipeline near Shell’s Forcados export terminal in Nigeria in February. The Forcados terminal has been shut since February’sa attack, preventing the export of 250,000 barrels of oil a day.

Picture: Shell’s Forcados export terminal in Delta State, Nigeria. Courtesy of Google Earth

 

The NDA claimed responsibility for an attack on the underwater pipeline near Shell’s Forcados export terminal in Nigeria in February. The Forcados terminal has been shut since February’sa attack, preventing the export of 250,000 barrels of oil a day.

 

The ability to blow up an undersea pipeline shows that the group has access to sophisticated equipment and skilled personnel. This has made some experts speculate that the group may be getting help from sympathetic workers within the oil industry. Or are in possession of these equipment as a result of pipeline protection contracts given to ex-militants.

NDA claim that their members comprise of fighters from the nine Niger Delta mandate states, unlike MEND which was centered on Ijaw areas. One prominent member of MEND was ex-militant Tompolo who has since distanced himself from all pipeline attacks. NDA took offense to Tompolo’s stance and demanded an apology. Tompolo’s refusal to apologize resulted in NDA attacking NNPC and Chevron pipelines on 4th May 2016, in Delta state.

COMMUNICATION CHANNELS

They frequently communicate through social media with their location tracker switched off via their twitter account, Facebook page and a website Domain provided by ‘Go Daddy’. On Thrusday 12 May 2016, the group sent emails to journalists stating that they will increase attacks unless oil firms shut down their operations and leave the region within two weeks.

DOCTRINE/DEMANDS

Some of the other demands the group has made from the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government include:

  • Immediate implementation of the report of the 2014 National Conference otherwise, this country will break up forcefully; President Buhari,
  • The DSS and Timipre Sylva should apologise to the people of the Niger Delta region and family of Late Chief DSP Alamieyesegha for killing him with intimidation and harassment because of his party affiliation;
  • The ownership of oil blocks must reflect 60 per cent for the oil producing people and 40 per cent for the non-oil producing people;
  • The only Nigerian Maritime University sited in the most appropriate and befitting place Okerenkoko must start the 2015/2016 academic session immediately;
  • The minister of transportation, Mr Rotimi Amechi should apologise to the Ijaws and the entire Niger Delta people for his careless and reckless statement about the siting of the university;
  • The Ogoniland and indeed all oil polluted lands in the Niger Delta must be cleaned up and compensation be paid to all oil producing communities;
  • Mr Nnamdi Kanu, the Leader of IPOB must be released unconditionally as the court said;
  • The Niger Delta Amnesty programme must be well funded and let it continue to run effectively;
  • All APC members that are indicted in any corruption related cases should be made to face trial like the PDP members otherwise Buhari should shamefully forget about this nonsense anti-corruption fight;
  • All oil multi-nationals and foreign investors should observe this ultimatum, as their business interest in the country must be first target

The NDA said the demands must be met within a specific period of time before it would stop bombing oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta region.

GOVERNMENT SECURITY FORCES RESPONSE

Nigerian security forces don’t have much intelligence about the group including its members, its size, bases of operation, weapons arsenal and so on. In an attempt to gather more information and apprehend the militants destroying pipelines the Nigerian military has invaded several villages around Gbaramatu part of Delta state which is the home to former militant leader Tompolo.

But the heavy handed method in which the military is dealing with the members of the community, will certainly make it difficult for the public to come out and share helpful information with the security personnel. Instead, the Nigerian government will benefit from using more technical intelligence collection platforms to pinpoint possible locations of the militant group, monitor movements and identify possible saboteurs.

For more detailed analysis (including graphs, maps, charts, geospatial and infographics) on Niger Delta Avengers, contact us.

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