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In its second attack in the same area in one week, the separatist Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate bombed a major crude oil pipeline owned by the state-run Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) Sunday night, according to local media reports.
The group’s spokesperson Aldo Agbalaja said on Monday that the attack took place at 11:30 p.m. near Ekuigbo in the Delta State.
Agbalaja also called the use of the Nigerian military to protect oil assets “a waste of resources.”
NDGJM conducted a similar attack against a NPDC pipeline in the same region early morning last Tuesday.
At the time, the group said the attack fulfilled its threat to conduct a series of attacks on foreign and domestically owned oil assets in the Niger Delta in pursuit of freedom from the “oppressive” Lagos government.
“The Niger Delta is not a conquered territory and our people have never succumbed to intimidation before, rather we match force with the oppressor’s brutality,” Agbalaja said. “The Nigerian government should already know that the people of this part are not fools, who will not be able to see when they are being treated with disdain.”
The group warned residents of areas surrounding the oil facilities to leave for their safety.
“For the last time, leave these areas if you live around them and if you love your lives,” it said.
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Late last month, the group denounced a meeting between Niger Delta stakeholders and the Federal Commissioner for Information, Ijaw Chief Edwin Clark, which called for the end of hostilities against oil industry, sites. The Niger Delta Avengers – another major separatist group active in the Niger Delta – agreed to the ceasefire.
However, in early September, NDJGM had reportedly agreed to stop attacking oil industry sites as a result of the meeting.
“NDGJM has accepted to stop bombing of pipelines in obedience to the call by Niger Delta leaders at the meeting convened in Effurun, August 19 by the former Federal Commissioner for Information, Chief Edwin Clark,” the group’s leader, who identified himself as ODU, told Vanguard.
The attacks over the past week and related warnings confirm that the group does not plan to abide by the terms of the ceasefire.
Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo stated last week that the country’s oil production has been cut by roughly 60 percent due to the attacks on its oil infrastructure.
By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com
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Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…