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The latest group to call for “independence” is the Niger Delta Avengers, the militant group responsible for a series of attacks on oil pipelines and facilities in the Niger Delta. The latest confirmed attack by militants took place Thursday on a Shell Petroleum Development Company facility. No group claimed responsibility for that attack, which resulted in an explosion.
On Sunday, the Avengers stated that it wanted a referendum on breaking up the Nigerian Federation. The Avengers took to social media to post a map in which it proposed that the country be broken up into five smaller countries. The group also called on president Muhammadu Buhari to hold a referendum for Nigerians to vote on whether or not they wanted the nation to remain intact. The Avengers also asked Buhari to visit the region so he could see firsthand how the communities there are faring.
Brigadier General Mudoch Agbinibo stated: ‘‘Mr. President come and see for yourself what the host communities are going through in the hands of Nigeria government and the multinationals.”
The call for a breakup of Nigeria was not unexpected in the wake of the Brexit vote, with some analysts saying that Brexit would “encourage separatists in Nigeria.”
Related: The Oil Industry Needs To Change Its Strategy And Fast
Militants in the delta muddied the political waters last week. On Wednesday, the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF) issued a statement that it had been approached by top-ranking members of the Nigerian Army, claiming that the officers had asked the group to continue attacks on the oil infrastructure in the Niger Delta region. According to the JNDLF, the officers wanted to use the continued attacks as a reason to stage a coup to oust Buhari.
The Nigerian Army has called the claims false and has promised an investigation into the claims of the JNDLF.
By Lincoln Brown for Oilprice.com
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Lincoln Brown is the former News and Program Director for KVEL radio in Vernal, Utah. He hosted “The Lincoln Brown Show” and was penned a…