Niger Delta Avengers, the militant group responsible for renewed hostilities in the Niger-Delta region, on Thursday condemned the killing of military personnel in the area, promising the victims’ families that those responsible for the heinous act would be “brought to book.”
The condemnation followed accusations that the group was responsible for attacks on a military houseboat in Ejere, a creek in Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State, which left at least two soldiers dead.
In a statement signed by Mudoch Agbinibo, the Avengers condemned all acts of violence against military and civilians, declaring “the days of killing and kidnapping” over.
“Killing of sleeping soldiers is not our style,” the Avengers said in an update posted on its website. “We promise the world that in this process of liberating our people, not a single blood of Nigeria soldiers will be wasted despite the provocation.”
“Our war is on oil installations not to take innocent lives.”
Mr. Agbinibo assured “the families of the affected soldiers that we will bring the culprits to book.”
The Avengers, therefore, issued a stern warning to other “freedom fighters” in the region to emulate its style of ensuring that no innocent person would be killed in the course of its agitation.
“This message is going to all groups parading themselves as freedom fighters. You can fight for your people without killing innocent souls NDA have (sic) proved it. We were able to drop Nigeria oil production from 2 million barrels (per day) to just 800,000 barrels without killing a soul. We are warning every group to follow our footsteps.”
The group claimed responsibility for a series of bombings that rocked Chevron, Agip and NNPC oil and gas installations across the Niger Delta in the last few days.
Last night, it claimed on its favourite communication platform, Twitter, that it blew up “Ogboinbiri to Tebidaba and Clough Creek to Tebidaba crude oil pipelines in Bayelsa State,” as part of its campaign to bring Nigeria’s oil production output to “zero.”
On Wednesday, the Avengers said it was responsible for the destruction of Chevron oil wells RMP 23 and RMP 24, and mocked Nigeria’s military for being only “good in harassing innocent civilians.”
Nigerian military pushed back against the militants’ claims that it had become helpless in the circumstance, saying it would not be negligent in its obligations to Nigerians.
“The Defence Headquarters wishes to emphasize that the Nigerian Armed Forces will not relent in their efforts to flush out economic saboteurs masquerading under whatever guise to perpetuate evils in the Niger Delta,” Rabe Abubakar, the Acting Director of Defence Information, said in a statement.
Last month, the group rejected a meeting convened in Abuja by the federal government, warning of its readiness to carry out an attack that will “shock the whole world”
“The Niger Delta stakeholder’s meeting is an insult to the people of Niger Delta. What we need is a Sovereign State not pipeline Contracts,” the group said.