- FG seeks dialogue
- Tompolo escapes to Libya
- Oil export drops to 1.3m bpd
There was palpable worry across the country yesterday following what new militant group, Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force, JNDLF, stated was a deadline for residents to vacate Abuja, Lagos and Kaduna as it targets public buildings and installations in the three cities for bombing effective today. The group also vowed to track former militant wanted by federal authorities for economic crimes, Tompolo for betraying their cause.
At the weekend, JNDLF had sounded out the world on its plan to cause destructions using missiles it said it had acquired.
According to a statement culled from JNDLF website yesterday, the group said: “in our final meeting it was resolved that the Nigerian Communication
Satellite Orbit should be shut down so that it will avoid the cause of electronic radiation to human lives.
“Also, the followings occupants of these buildings should as a matter of urgency vacate in them immediately IN THEIR OWN INTEREST to save their lives because our fight is not for ANY HUMAN BLOOD but to destroy all those infrastructures that were built with our oil and gas monies in this country. We will make federal government and oil companies to suffer as they have made the people of Niger Delta region suffers over the years from environmental degradation, and environmental pollution.”
The statement signed by four leaders of the group listed the following public buildings as targets: State House, Villa- Abuja, Defence Headquarters, DSS Headquarters, Police Headquarters, National Assembly, NNPC Towers, Central Bank of Nigeria, Supreme Court/Appeal Court, Agip Headquarters, Abuja, Shell Headquarters, Lagos, Chevron Headquarters, Lagos, Exxon Mobil, Lagos, NLNG, Lagos and Abuja offices, Kaduna Refinery and all military formations in Abuja, Lagos, Kaduna, Benue, among others.
The group added that; “we shall fire these missiles’ simultaneously at the night, as this will enable every Nigerians to see the movement of the MISSILES and equally to believe us of our seriousness attached to the final breakup as predicted by the United States of America (USA).
“We equally advise the Diplomatic Community to be neutral on this issue as wrong comments against us will be seen as saboteurs. Where they are staying presently will not be affected which is not part of our targeted areas of destruction in the country.
“Note, we are going to destroy the ones they have deployed to Escravos, Forcados in Delta State; Bonga oil field, Agbami offshore and Brass in Bayelsa; Bonny in Rivers; Qua Iboe Terminal in Akwa Ibom State, and Opuekeba in Ondo state if they fail to remove them before time. Our crack team has taken inventory of their equipments.”
Oil export drops to 1.3m bpd. FG seeks negotiation with militants
Meanwhile, the minister of State for Petroleum Resources and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) yesterday disclosed that Nigeria’s crude oil export has dropped to all time low of 1.3 million barrels per day following the attacks by the Niger Delta Avengers.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja, Kachikwu said that the Federal Government has decided to engage the militants groups in negotiation, stressing that already a Committee led by the Office of the National Security Adviser has been constituted to commence the negotiation.
The minister lamented that about 600,000 barrels are being lost on a daily basis over the last few months as a result of intense hostilities by the militants.
While appealing to the NDA to sheath their swords, Kachikwu reiterated federal government’s commitment to bring all stakeholders in a negotiation table to find a lasting solution to their grievances.
“We have probably lost close to 600,000 barrels from various attacks by the militants in the Niger Delta. My first appeal will be to brothers who are engaged in these acts of protests. The Federal Government is willing to continue on the path of dialogue”
He noted the intensity of the attacks has created lots problems both in terms of pollution and economic losses to the country and further said that federal government is prepared to reduce military intervention in the troubled region in order to open door for dialogue with relevant stakeholders.
Kachikwu also appealed to opinion leaders that play critical roles that will ensure that all the aggrieved parties are brought to the table.
He stated that the plan of the government is to institute a sustainable solution to grievances of the Niger Delta people through dialogue.
According to him, the damages that the attacks of the militants has brought to the nation’s economy and the environmental pollution is huge and the best option to resolving the issue is dialogue.
Most of the recent attacks on oil facilities in the oil-rich south have been claimed by the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), who want a fairer share of revenue from the sector for local people. – ‘War on oil installations’ – The NDA’s sabotage of pipelines and attacks on installations have hit crude production, forcing output down to about 1.4 million barrels day, instead of a budgeted-for 2.2 million bpd. But last week it denied involvement in an attack on a boat belonging to the state-run Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in which four soldiers and two personnel were killed. On Saturday, the group appeared to confirm the emergence of other militants with similar agendas in a statement on its website, “calling on all groups in the region to be strong and resolute”.
The new JNDLF, which said it would carry out its threat with “missiles”, has vowed to fight troops sent to the delta to bolster the protection of key infrastructure.
But the NDA countered: “We must desist from any life-threatening actions that will derail our genuine struggle for our people. “All groups are hereby discouraged from indulging in harassing oil workers and soldiers… those groups with anti-aircraft missiles should dry their gunpowder.”
Tompolo escapes to Libya
The JNDLF statement further said that though Nigerian military cannot locate Tompolo, “we have identified where he is now. Presently, Tompolo is in Libya and we’ll get him dead or alive for betraying us in supporting the federal government against us.”