TWENTY hours after the deadly destruction of Forcados crude oil export terminal trunkline and another in Bayelsa, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) has warned affiliate bodies in the struggle to eschew attacks on oil workers as well as Nigerian soldiers.
The group said its main objective, among others, was to to ground the Nigerian economy through the destruction of all oil installations and facilities in the Niger Delta.
In a statement signed by its spokesperson, Brig.Gen Mudoch Agbinibo and published it its website on Saturday afternoon, the group advised other groups such as the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF), claiming to be in possession of anti-aircraft missiles not to down any aircraft, saying they should “dry their gunpowder.”
“Good Afternoon Niger Deltans. The liberation of the Niger delta people has taken a new swing with the daily emergence of new groups all over the region.
“The avengers are calling on all groups in the region to be strong and resolute as it is obvious that God is on our side.
“The groups are much now both real and unreal but if you really fighting for the liberation of the Niger Delta people.
“The high command of the avengers is calling on you not to attack any soldier and those claiming to have anti aircraft missiles should deist from targeting any aircraft.
“Let us be careful not to offend God in the process of trying to liberate our people from the shackles of the Nigerian government because we need God more than anything right now.
“We also need the international communities as well. Hence, we must desist from any life threatening actions that will derail our genuine struggle for our people,” the statement read in part.
The group also urged all members of all freedom fighters in the region to be humane and hospitable to oil workers and soldiers found in distress.
“All groups are hereby discouraged from indulging in harassing oil workers and soldiers. We urge you all to help any oil workers or soldiers you see in distress,” it stated.
The group affirmed, contrary to reports from some quarters, that in spite of the aerial surveillance ongoing in some Ijaw communities in the region, no soul has been lost to the military siege.
“The military warplanes hovering round our towns and villages have not strike a soul or destroy any property, so those groups with anti-aircraft missiles should dry their gunpowder,” it admonished.
The Avengers, however, warned that “When it is time to engage the military in combat, the whole world will know they started the war not the Avengers.
“The Niger delta avengers high command will pass the message round that its time to engage on gun battle when the time comes.
So far, we have not engaged the Nigeria military in combat; despite the heavy presence of military on the pipelines.”
The group boasted that in spite of heavy presence of soldiers around oil and gas pipelines, “we still find way to carry out our actions without attacking soldiers. The avengers will deal with any group That refuses and attack military.”
“The high command is calling on all groups in Rivers, Ondo, Delta, Bayelsa, Cross River, and Akwa Ibom to not indulge in any act of kidnapping and attacking of soldiers. The war is on oil installations; “Operation On Flow of Oil.”
“God is our strength; he is going to see the people of Niger Delta through. God bless the Niger Delta republic,” the statement concluded.
Meanwhile, Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS DELTA), Warri Naval Base, Commodore Raimi Mohammed has vowed to unmask those who destroyed the Forcados 48-inch crude oil export terminal pipeline at the wee hours of Friday.
The obviously angry naval boss, who visited the site on Friday, also warned Odimodi and Ogulagha communities, which are hosts to the export terminal pipelines, to prepare for the consequences of allowing the destruction to take place in spite of their earlier promise to the navy in April to take ownership of the facility.
It will be recalled that the crude oil export trunkline was repaired between April and May after it was bombed February 2016 and the rampaging members of the NDA had claimed responsibility for the twice destructions