The always amusing, if quite violent, Niger Delta Avengers (profiled here for the first time one month ago), who as we some sarcastically said "hold the price of oil in their hands", only to realize this was all too real, alongside ever louder questions of just who is funding this brand new splinter group (not to mention its chatty Twitter account and its GoDaddy-hosted website), has again refused to sit down and negotiate a resumption in oil production, much to the chagrin of virtually other Nigerian miliants. And, in a just issued a press "statement" on its website, it explains that it sees no need to sit down with the government for "any proposed dialogue and last peace talk."
As the website notes, the NDA needs "conducive atmosphere” to commit to dialogue for the following reason, grammar mistakes all as per the original:
We want the federal government to commit members states of the multi national Oil Corporations to commit independent mediators to this proposed dialogue; we believed that it is only such environment that will engender genuine dialogue that will be aimed at setting up a framework for achieving the short, medium and long term demands of the Niger delta to de-escalating this conflict and bring about a lasting peace.
The NDA also repeats warning to oil companies not to repair pipelines, oil and gas facilities damaged by attacks. We can only assume this is the demand of the NDA's unknown financial backer, who stands to gain much more from keeping Nigeria oil output as low as possible.
Note the rookie, "made in Hollywood" error of the following NDA photo.
This statement follows a Sunday please by Ex-Niger Delta fighters asking the militants to talk with the Nigerian government. Indeed, as Nigeria's Vanguard reported overnight, "there is a noticeable crack in the camp of the militant groups bombing oil installations in the Niger Delta degenerated, yesterday, as one of them, Reformed Egbesu Boys of Niger Delta, unilaterally declared cessation of hostilities. Meanwhile, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, last night, raised a seven-man provisional team, tagged Aaron Team 2, to negotiate with the Federal Government just as it charged the Niger Delta Avengers to drop its defiant posture and embrace dialogue. This came as traditional rulers from Niger Delta, under the aegis of the South-South Monarchs Forum, have scheduled a meeting in Uyo next week to discuss ways of finding solutions to the increasing spate of destruction of oil and gas assets in the region."
The Joint Revolutionary Council, JRC, of the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force, JNDLF, had, Friday, indicated it had accepted the window created by the Federal Government for dialogue, but the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, maintained that it was not part of the negotiations. Vanguard learned, yesterday, that government negotiators had penetrated many of the militant groups and many would likely declare cessation of hostilities during the week and embrace dialogue with government.
Many of the militants were furious that some powerful forces have hijacked the struggle to the detriment of the region and were merely using them as bargaining tool. The Reformed Egbesu Boys of Niger Delta is at loggerheads with the NDA and JNDLF over their positions.
In short, everyone but the NDA seems motivated to get some deal done. We wonder how long before some enterprising journalist uncovers just who the NDA is a front for, and who is so determined to crush Nigeria's economy, which is reeling as a result of lost oil export revenue, just to keep the price of oil artificially high by a few extra dollars as a result of the ongoing nIgeria disruption.
Meanwhile, here is the full Niger Delta Avenger statement, in which the militant group warns it may turn quite deadly as well in coming days, warning "we may review our earlier stance of not taking lives."
The high command of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) is using this medium to restate that there are no new items to put on the table for dialogue, we only want a genuine attitude and conducive atmosphere that will make us commit to any proposed dialogue and last peace talk. We want the federal government to commit members states of the multi national Oil Corporations to commit independent mediators to this proposed dialogue; we believed that it is only such environment that will engender genuine dialogue that will be aimed at setting up a framework for achieving the short, medium and long term demands of the Niger delta to de-escalating this conflict and bring about a lasting peace.
The NDA high command is restating our commitment to attack the interest of oil corporation and international refineries operators that bring in vessels to the Niger delta territory to buy our oil that every successive government have refused to used and reapply the proceeds towards any development in the region since 1958. If they refuse be heed to our advice will result to sinking of two their mother vessel as an examples to others They should not undertake any repair of pipeline, oil and gas facilities that is damaged or attacked by our forces during this period of “Operation Red Economy” until and/or after the dialogue.
We are using medium to warn and condemn the activities of all brands of social media agitators being peddled around by some politicians to promote their criminal ways in affairs of the Niger Delta. This genuine spirit behind our struggle for the Niger Delta cannot be derailed on the basis of connivance by politician, traditional rulers, settled ex- agitators and criminals moving around to fill their pockets.
The issues of the Niger delta are as old and as new as the days of Pa. Dappa Biriye, Major Jasper Isaac Adaka Boro, to Ken Saro Wiwa and the government of President Musa Yar’ Adua. We are warning this government of President muhammadu Buhari, not to turn the essence of genuine peace talk and dialogue to political jamboree that is prevailing now where all manner of social media agitators and criminals have being sponsored by the job seeking corrupt political class to safe faces before the government of the day.
Finally, if need be we may review our earlier stance of not taking lives. We are going to redirect and reactivate all our activities if the government, oil companies and their services firms don’t heed to these modest warnings of not carrying out any repairs works and suspend the buying of crude oil from our region as we await the right atmosphere that will engender genuine dialogue “ We Want a peace with Honour not a Peace of our time”
Brig. Gen Mudoch Agbinibo
We can only wonder which distressed sovereign oil exporter or corporate oil producer was instrumental in the drafting of this "statement."