Adaka Boro Avengers, a new militant group in the Niger Delta, has given conditions that must be met by the Federal Government for it to end hostilities in the region.
Among their conditions are immediate review of the revenue sharing formula that will give oil producing communities 60 percent of the accruing revenue, while the Federal Government retains 40 percent.
The militants also demanded the creation of Esenabe State in honour of the late Major Isaac AdakaBoro, the implementation of the 2014 National Conference report, and immediate commencement of academic activities at the Maritime University, Okerenkoko in Delta State.
They also demanded the immediate commencement of the clean-up of Ogoni land and all other communities in the Niger Delta that have been polluted due to oil exploration and exploitation, and compensation also paid to the affected communities.
The militants demanded proper funding of the Amnesty Programme and full agreements signed by the late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua.
In a statement signed by General Godey on behalf of the group, it condemned what it called “control over our oil wellheads” by “some people from the North and West, who do not have oil”, noting that “henceforth the oil wellheads have to be controlled by the oil producing communities in the Niger Delta.”
As at May 2016, Nigeria’s oil production had dropped to 1.65 million barrels a day, the lowest output in 22 years, as a result of resurgence of militant activities in the Niger Delta region.
Production began sliding in February when the Niger Delta Avengers claimed an attack on an underwater pipeline that forced Shell to shut down its Forcados export terminal. That singular action knocked off at least 250,000 bpd.
Shell had also declared force majeure on exports of Bonny Light crude after a leak on one of its trunk lines in the Niger Delta, even as Chevron also shut a platform after an attack also claimed by the Niger Delta Avengers.
Dr. IbeKachikwu, Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, had indicated that President Muhammadu Buhari is willing to negotiate with the militants.
According to Kachikwu, President Buhari has “appointed a team” to start off a process of “very intensive dialogue” with the militants.
However, with new militant groups coming up almost on daily basis, the negotiation may not be as easy as it was anticipated.
As at the last count at least four new militant groups have emerged in the region. They include the Niger Delta Avengers, Asawana Deadly Force, the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF) and Adaka Boro Avengers.
These groups are outside the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), the main umbrella body that negotiated amnesty with the then President Yar’Adua administration in 2009.
The Adaka Boro Avengers, which had on Thursday, June 23, issued a seven-day ultimatum to oil companies in the region to leave the area, said that if their demands were not met by the expiration of the ultimatum, they will blow up oil installations and take expatriates hostages.
The militants said that abduction of expatriates would be a child’s play when compared to what they intend to do if their demands were not met.