May 17, 2016 - 12:30 AM EDT
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What Are They Avenging?

On February 3 this year, a shadowy group, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), announced its formation with the sole aim of "crippling (the Nigerian) economy." Barely a week after it launched itself as a terrorist group, it blew up the Bonny Soku Gas line. The line carries natural gas to the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas plant and an independent power plant at Gbarain. A few days after, NDA again bombed the Forcados 48-inch export terminal, forcing Shell to close down the 250,000 barrels per day export facility. Since this month, there have been at least three other attacks on crude oil installations: NNPC crude and gas pipelines; Chevron's Well D25 in Abiteye and Marakaba crude oil pipeline also operated by Chevron. So far, these destructive actions of the NDA have brought down Nigeria's crude oil production and export down to a 22-year low of 1.65 million barrels per day and caused losses in several millions of dollars.

Among the conditions for cessation of the bombing campaigns pushed out by NDA is the implementation of the recommendations of the 2014 national conference. The NDA demands the release of Nnamdi Kanu, the leader of the so called Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) from detention. They want a clean-up of the polluted areas of Niger Delta. They want a redistribution of ownership of oil wells in the ratio of 60% - 40% in favour of oil producing states. They want the clean-up of Niger Delta of oil spills. They want an apology from Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi, for his "reckless statements" on the citing of Maritime University. They want stalwarts of All Progressive Congress (APC) to be tried for corruption. They allege that Buhari's harassment and intimidation of Diepreye Alamieyesegha led to his death (and that Buhari should bring him back to life?), etc.

These avengers appear to be thoroughly intoxicated with high performance drugs. Even the person who mischievously convened the conference to further his agenda couldn't act on any of those recommendations. As for Kanu, the only way they can get him released is to overrun Abuja and get hold of the keys to Kuje jail. Otherwise, Kanu will remain in jail until the court disposes his treason case. As for environmental pollution, they should know that this will get worse as they continue to blow up one pipeline after the other? Except they are acting under the influence of drugs, the avengers can't ask for the cleaning of their land while they continue to ruin it by blowing up pipelines.

Does Buhari share oil wells? Why didn't these criminals get Goodluck Jonathan to give them some? I don't give a damn if they or Buhari collect all the oil wells owned by so called northerners but Buhari has no time to share oil wells among individuals; what this President wants to is to ensure that the entire citizens of this country begin to enjoy the benefits of all oil extracted from this country.

It is true Niger Delta is an extremely poor region considering the riches that have been harvested there in the last 50 years or so. There is no hygienic drinking water for a vast majority of them; the network of roads is not befitting; millions of young men and women are unemployed. The land is degraded and polluted by oil spills and many years of gas flares. The people are sick and tired of having petroleum resources harvested from their backyard with almost nothing to show for it.

But how do you begin to address or reverse this misfortune? Is blowing up of oil installations a sure way of drawing the attention of the government of the day to resolve this injustice? Do you break away from Nigeria by declaring a Niger Delta republic? Who is the leader of your republic? Where is your capital? Where are your boundaries and how do you secure them? How are you going to relate with your neighbours? Are you sure you will be insulated from current problems Nigeria is facing?

The NDA should understand that Buhari and the rest of us have a country to build. These scoundrels should know that they have no sympathy among the generality of our population. We want peace in the entire length and breadth of this country so we can have development and prosperity. It is remarkable that these criminal activities are restricted to Delta State. This means that others don't share in their criminality.

President Buhari is barely one year in office and he needs time to address the entire problems of this country, Niger Delta inclusive. The NDA will soon realise that if they continue with their latest round of economic terrorism, there won't be much that Buhari or anyone can do to address our problems.

The avengers should know that no one is going to treat them with kid gloves while they vandalise oil installations and terrorise oil workers and other Nigerians. President Buhari and the Nigerian armed forces have the full support of the country to crush this infantile and totally insane behaviour that seeks to destroy our national economy.

Their destruction of oil installations means less crude oil will be exported; if less crude oil is sold, it means revenues to states including those in the Niger Delta will also shrink and in that case, the various governments will be unable to pay workers or provide services. Either way, there will be additional suffering for everyone, so how much more can one sabotage his people?

I don't understand, just what are these terrorists avenging!

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Source: News (May 17, 2016 - 12:30 AM EDT)

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