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Evacuate staff immediately over planned “destruction of oil pipelines, oil facilities and installations,” Niger Delta militants warns international oil companies

Militant groups from the nine States of the Niger Delta region under the name of Niger Delta Liberators (NDL) on Monday alerted the International Oil Companies (IOCs) and stakeholders operating in the region of the resumption of violence, warning them to evacuate their workers from rigs, platforms and manifolds.

The Niger Delta Liberators also called on international community and world leaders to “as a matter of urgency call on their fellow citizens that are working with the multinational oil companies to vacate the creeks of the Niger Delta region before the “heavyweight of the NDL Special Trained Striking Force Unit falls on them.”

The NDL, in a statement issued in Yenagoa on Monday and signed by Benjamin Owei (alias Sea Lord), said the only condition for not resuming violence is if the Nigerian government meets all their demands which they had earlier tabled when they issued a 21-day ultimatum.

The militants sent a chilling warning to the Nigerian government that failure to accede to their demands would “witness massive destruction of oil pipelines, oil facilities and installations across the length and breadth of the Niger Delta region in a well-coordinated attack tagged “Cripple the Economy with Zero Crude Oil Production.” There will be no more oil funds to finance the 2021 budget.”

Part of the statement reads: “All foreign nationals working in the creeks with all the multinational oil companies are at this moment advised to leave the region as all our unit commanders have been put on a red alert to resume operation zero oil production in this new fresh demand.

“The oil facilities listed for destruction are; the Chevron major oil platforms, Shell major oil pipelines and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation gas pipelines that distribute from Escravos-Warri- Kaduna-Lagos and also supply to Abuja.

“We will bring them all down until our demands are met through proper engagement from the Federal Government or else, not going back on the 21-day ultimatum issued earlier.

“And we are going to occupy all the platforms, locations and major crude oil pipelines until we see a proper channel of engagement from the Federal Government through these agencies mentioned above, the NNPC Group Managing Director and most especially the newly appointed Amnesty Coordinator who has promised President Muhammadu Buhari that he was going to engage all the aggrieved militant groups and stakeholders.”

The NDL said the militants were not happy with the decision to take $1 billion from the Excess Crude Account by President Buhari’s administration in 2019 to acquire heavy weapons to fight the Boko Haram insurgents in the North East.

“This is wicked and insensitive to the peace accord signed with the people of the Niger Delta region,” the group added.

The militants also demanded the urgent release of the N98 billion gas flare penalty fund to the host communities of the Niger Delta which are funds domiciled into the federation account through the Central Bank of Nigeria and multinational oil companies as payment to compensate the communities being affected by the activities of the IOCs.

The statement further said, “NDL rejects the proposed N13 trillion-plus budget presented by President Muhammadu Buhari to Nigerians which did not capture any tangible and significant human capital development projects for the oil-producing communities in the Niger Delta region – the region whose crude oil will be used to finance the so-called budget.”  

Also, the NDL demanded that the proposed 2021 budget, which appropriated billions of naira to the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, and the Niger Delta Development Commission should be withdrawn and put on hold until a substantive board of the NDDC is inaugurated and sworn in by President Buhari.

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