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In the aftermath of a militant attack on a Chevron oil platform in the Niger Delta region, the group claiming responsibility is now threatening to bomb all oil installations in the hometown of a former militant recently criminally charged by Nigeria’s new government.
The newly formed militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, has launched at least three attacks recently on Niger Delta oil installations, including a February attack on the Forcados export pipeline run by Shell.
As reported by Nigeria’s Vanguard media outlet, the Niger Delta Avengers are retaliating over what appears to be the assumption of a betrayal of the cause on the part of former Niger Delta militant leader Tompolo (Government Ekpemupolo).
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The group is threatening to bomb Tompolo’s hometown for his statement to the affect that he is not part of the Niger Delta Avengers and his move to call on all oil companies to resume normal operations and ignore the impending threats from the group.
Niger Delta Avengers said it would launch its next wave of attacks specifically targeting installations in Tombolo’s hometown if the former militant failed to apologize publicly within three days.
In a statement on its website, carried by Vanguard, the group’s alleged spokesperson, Colonel Madoch Agbinibo, wrote: “[…] We, the Niger Delta Avengers, have only decided to pick the struggle up from where you and the former Niger Delta agitators left off. […] We hereby give you a three-day ultimatum to apologize to Niger Delta Avengers in the same national dailies, as anything other than that will mean that we shall bring the war to your doorstep by blowing up all oil installations within your back yard [Gbaramatu Kingom].
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Late on Wednesday, the group blew up Chevron’s offshore Valve Platform.
"This is what we promised the Nigeria government since they refuse to listen to us," the group said in a statement about the Chevron attack, adding that it happened shortly after 10.30 p.m. (5.30 p.m. ET) on Wednesday, according to a Reuters report.
In a statement carried by Reuters, Chevron confirmed that the attack had taken place at the Okan offshore facility in the Western Niger Delta area, but there were still no reports of casualties or details about the extent of the damage.
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There are fears that this attack heralds a revival of Niger Delta militancy targeting oil facilities and installations.
Niger Delta militancy largely halted after a 2009 amnesty deal, which essentially allowed militants to join in the oil corruption game for their own personal game, thereby putting an end to military and simply redirecting it into corruption. With a new government now in place, however, and a tough anti-corruption drive under way, militancy is again surfacing.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com