The militants whose attacks have caused a huge dip in Nigeria’s oil exports, forcing the economy into a big crisis, said last night that they were done with the hostilities.The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) broke the news in a letter posted on its website by its spokesman, Mudoch Agbinibo, and addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari. It also spoke of the need for regular dialogue to take place for the Nigerian union to survive.
Presidential spokesman Femi Adesina welcomed the cessation of hostilities by the Avengers as “a good development which is in the interest of the country and especially the Niger Delta people.”
He said “anything that portends peace is always good,” adding that “we hope that it cuts across board and it is sincere.”
The Avengers alleged that the Federal Government was out to execute a predetermined genocide against the people of the Niger Delta through the recently launched Operation Crocodile Smile, which the military high command has explained as just a training drill designed to prepare the Amphibious Division for a better mastery of the Niger Delta terrain.
The group also observed that the Nigerian system would work better if the Federal Government learns from the developed democracies to allow internal protests and conflicts aimed at greater good of the nation.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to put away the garb of a stooge to the imperialists, whenever he speaks outside Nigeria. We have listened carefully and halted hostilities in the Niger Delta. We expect a genuine and positive attitude to restructuring and self-determination for every component unit of Nigeria. Dear president, what makes those countries (Japan, Germany, France, USA, Britain etc.) great is the ability of their governments to accommodate internal protestations and conflicts for the greater good of their nations over the years.
“Nigeria is not a one-man personal property. We must have these talks every time if this union must continue to work as one. The people of the Niger Delta have been living here from time immemorial, so we have the secret of the terrain and survival of amphibious operations.
“No amount of troop surge and simulation exercises will make you win the oil war; you can only win battles. You cannot apply the might of the state to restore the people’s confidence in your leadership when you cannot differentiate between genuine demands and being mismanaged by disorganised characters and tribal lords around you in your government that are playing the court jesters’ role as well as counting the days that is left in your four years term.
“You can deceive the whole world but we cannot be deceived by the so glamorized ongoing military operations in the creeks of Ijaw communities in the Delta coded “ Operation Crocodile Smiles”… the world should knows that with your pronouncement in Kenya and your attitude to the military build-up in the Niger Delta, it is crystal clear that the military has nothing less than a pre-determined genocide in Niger Delta and burn more already scared national resources to the pockets of those that have failed to locate the missing Chibok School Girls.
“Please also tell those foreign nations that your troops are about carrying out extrajudicial killings in the Niger Delta in violation of Article Four of the Geneva Convention with “OPERATION CROCODILE SMILE”. All sane minds know the meaning of “ CROCRODILE TEARS” so by code-naming your military operation CROCODILE SMILES only betrays your motives and attitude to the whole world about the Niger Delta question.”
With an end to bombings, there is hope for increased oil and gas production, which will translate to more revenue for the Federation.
The militants in the last few months hit major pipelines including Shell’s Nembe Creek Trunk Line (NCTL) and Forcados terminal, ExxonMobil and Agip’s facilities. These attacks led to shut-in of various crude grades from Nigeria.
At the peak of the attacks, production dropped to 1.4 million barrels per day (bpd) against a budgeted 2.2 million bpd. Production had risen to 1.9 bpd before the renewed attacks.