- The Niger Delta Avengers, a militant group in Nigeria's oil-rich south-south region recently resurfaced
- The group had previously attacked oil-producing facilities in the oil-rich Nige Delta region causing the shutdown of oil terminals
- Their latest threats are a worry for Nigerian authorities as Nigeria's oil production is at its lowest level
Port Harcourt - The leadership of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) has warned the federal government to take the recent threat issued by the militant group; Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) seriously.
NDA had over the weekend announced Operation Humble which it said would cripple the economy based on the failure of the federal government to address the issue of underdevelopment in the Niger Delta region.
The presidency in its reaction to the threat by NDA said its latest threat was unnecessary because he had met with the INC leadership and responded to issues raised especially on restructuring and inauguration of the board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
Presidency asked to negotiate with Niger Delta group
However, the president of the INC, Professor Benjamin Okaba in a swift reaction to the statement by the presidency, said the delegation did not have a meeting for discussions.
According to him listening to the president after they made their 10 point demands did not mean the group accepted what he said.
He said the reason why the Ijaw leadership went to Abuja was to avert actions such as the one by NDA.
Daily Sun newspaper quoted him as saying:
“We did go there to accept what the federal government told us. We made our demands and he responded. We were not given the opportunity to respond. One of the reasons we went to Abuja was to avert a situation like this because we believe by discussing, a lot of issues can be resolved.
“The issue of forensic audit cannot be the reason why the NDDC board cannot be inaugurated. I think the federal government should listen particularly when you made a minister say do this for the region. The federal government should take avengers threat seriously.”
More demands from the oil-rich region
Similarly, leaders in the south-south geopolitical zone have handed down a three-month ultimatum to the federal government to start the process of giving Nigeria a new lease of life.
The Nation newspapers reports that the Niger Delta leaders emerged from a meeting in Port Harcourt late Friday, June 25 asking the federal government to convene a national dialogue for the purpose of charting a new course for the country.
Recall that the presidency had in a statement issued by Femi Adesina, the special adviser to the president on media and publicity, condemned the threats.
The presidential aide stated that such threats were unnecessary, saying that President Buhari had since engaged the leadership of the Niger Delta.
He said that the president had only met with the concerned stakeholders of the Niger Delta in the Presidential Villa less than 48 hours ago where they deliberated over many issues including their demands.
Legit.ng had previously reported that President Buhari assured that every criminal element that has taken up arms against the peace of the country would be brought to book.
Buhari also said under his watch as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, no effort would be spared in tackling every form of insecurity confronting Nigeria.
He said all the policy initiatives, projects, and even appointments by this administration have been guided by equity and inclusiveness.