Na real wa oooo. So much confidence now. What is it they know that we don’t? Would I be right to insinuate that it’s much easier to set up a terrorist group than to set up a business? These groups, set up for the sole purpose of seeking government’s attention, with the destruction of oil pipes and what have you as their main purpose, are on the rise. The Niger Delta Avengers is one of such groups that has hit the ‘terror scene’. They have grown so much in confidence that they can afford to turn down a call by another terrorist group, MEND (The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta) to negotiate with the Federal government. I am not in the least surprised. These groups know the score. They are familiar with the other side of government. They know how it works, after all, it is most likely they are funded by the same people that are now in power. It is how politics is played in Nigeria, unfortunately as the case may be. The politicians pay them handsomely during election campaigns and discard them once in power. These bomb activities represent pay-back-time. – Jide Salu
The Niger Delta Avengers, a group that has claimed responsibility for a recent spate of attacks on oil and gas facilities in Nigeria’s oil hub, on Monday rejected calls from former militants to join talks with the government.
On Sunday, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) — one of the largest militant groups until it signed up for a government amnesty in 2009 — urged the Avengers to negotiate and halt attacks that have cut Nigeria’s crude output to a 20-year low.
The ex-militants said they had chosen a team of negotiators to participate in the government initiative to start talks over their demands for a greater share in oil wealth and a reduction in pollution from oil spills in the impoverished Niger Delta.
Nigeria’s government has moved army reinforcements into the swampy Delta region in response but Western allies have said that widespread poverty and oil spills there must be tackled to defuse the militant problem.
Nigeria was long Africa’s biggest oil producer until the wave of attacks by the Avengers pushed it into second place, behind Angola, in recent weeks.
MEND has said some of its former commanders and fighters make up the Avengers, which has been denied by the group. Security officials have also linked a MEND commander to the Avengers, although he denies this.
“MEND is a phased out body,” an Avengers representative told Reuters in a text message, saying the group had been defunct since participating in the amnesty scheme.
“It’s just some political jargon … to confuse the general public,” he said of MEND’s intervention, before questioning the ex-militant group’s right to be involved in a committee aimed at quelling the current insurgency.
The Avengers said they would not cooperate with government when the idea of negotiations was first mooted last week. (Writing by Alexis Akwagyiram; Editing by Mark Heinrich)