Buhari says Nigeria’s unity not negotiable as Avengers bombs NNPC pipeline

By Emma Amaize, Levinus Nwabughiogu, Egufe
Yafugborhi & Perez Brisibe
ABUJA — AS Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, struck again,
yesterday, blowing up Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation, NNPC, pipeline at Eleme, Rivers State,
President Muhammadu Buhari insisted that Nigeria’s
unity was not negotiable.
He also warned looters of the nation’s treasury to
return their loot for peace to reign, saying government
would continue to ask for the funds until they were
eventually returned.
President Muhammadu Buhari flanked by the Chairman
FCT CAN, Pastor Israel Akanji (2l) and Vice President
Yemi Osinbajo while the Primate of All Nigeria,
Anglican Communion, The Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh
(3r); Chaplain, Aso Villa Chapel, Pastor Sheyi Malomo
(r); the Deputy Chief Imam of the National Mosque,
Alhaji Ibrahim Makari (2r) and others during Eid-el-fitr
visit by selected groups from the FCT at the State
House, Abuja. Photo by Abayomi Adeshida
By Taboola Sponsored Links
Buhari says Nigeria’s unity not negotiable as Avengers
bombs NNPC pipeline
ON July 7, 2016 1:20 AM / IN Headlines, News /
By Emma Amaize, Levinus Nwabughiogu, Egufe
Yafugborhi & Perez Brisibe
ABUJA — AS Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, struck again,
yesterday, blowing up Nigerian National Petroleum
Corporation, NNPC, pipeline at Eleme, Rivers State,
President Muhammadu Buhari insisted that Nigeria’s
unity was not negotiable.
He also warned looters of the nation’s treasury to
return their loot for peace to reign, saying government
would continue to ask for the funds until they were
eventually returned.
But the NDA claimed, yesterday, that the Federal
Government was negotiating with fraudsters,
distancing itself from recent violent attacks in the
President Buhari, who gave the warning while receiving
a cross section of Nigerians, most of whom were
Muslims, in his official residence located within the
Presidential Villa, Abuja to pay him sallah homage,
recalled the famous quote of former Head of State,
General Yakubu Gowon, on the indivisibility of Nigeria.
According to him, the task of keeping Nigeria as one
united entity is a task that must be done.
He said: “We have to concentrate on the militants to try
to know how many of them, in terms of groupings, try
to get in touch with their leadership to try to persuade
them to please give Nigeria a chance.
“I assure them that when we were very junior officers,
we were told by our leaders, by the Head of State, who
was Gen. Gowon, that to keep Nigeria one is a task that
must be done...we never thought of oil.
“What we were after is one Nigeria. Please, pass the
message to the militants that one Nigeria is not
negotiable. And I pray they better accept it. The
constitution is very clear as to what they should get
and I assure them there would be justice.
“Please persuade those who have plenty of money that
do not belong to them to try and negotiate, return it in
peace so that both them and us will be in peace,
otherwise we will continue to request.”
Hunger in the land
Noting that there was hunger in the land, the President
expressed optimism that the country would soon start
feeding itself as the Minister of Agriculture, Audu
Ogbeh, the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, and 13 states
were working hard to ensure that Nigeria achieved self-
sufficiency in the production of rice.
He said the programme had reinvigorated confidence in
many farmers, who had already returned to the field.
Mess of the past administration
In his remarks, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo noted that
the last one year of the administration was dedicated to
cleaning the “mess of the past administration.”
He, however, expressed hope that Nigeria would be
placed on a sound footing in the months ahead, even
as he prayed God to give President Buhari the wisdom
and strength to continue to work for the country.
Minister of FCT, Mohammed Bello, who led a
delegation of most FCT residents, prayed for good
health and God’s guidance on behalf of the President.
Those who attended the sallah homage included
Secretary to the Government of the Federation,
Babachir Lawal; Primate of the Church of Nigerian
(Anglican Communion), Nicholas Okoh; Acting
Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes
Commission, Ibrahim Magu; Chief of Air Staff, Air
Marshal Sadiq Abubakar; National Security Adviser,
Babagana Mongunu; Acting Inspector-General of
Police, Ibrahim Idris.
Others included Chairman, Christian Association of
Nigeria (CAN), FCT Chapter, Israel Akanji and Dr. Kabir
Adam of the National Mosque, Abuja.
Avengers bombs NNPC pipeline in Eleme
Meanwhile, Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, yesterday,
shifted its hostilities from Delta to Rivers State, blowing
up NNPC pipeline at Eleme leading to the Nigeria
Liquefied National Gas, NLNG in the state, saying
government was negotiating with fraudsters.
The militant group claimed responsibility for the attack,
saying on its Facebook page, NDavengers:  “By 3.00
am, yesterday, strike team 2 carried out a major strike,
bombing NNPC pipeline at Eleme, leading to NLNG. You
won’t stop us.”
The Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force, JNDLF, also
yesterday, threatened to set seven flow stations ablaze
in Bayelsa State.
This is as Egbesu Boys of Niger Delta, a militant group,
said the ongoing warfare in the Niger Delta was an Ijaw
fight for self-determination and not Niger Delta struggle
as generally assumed by many.
Before the Rivers attack, NDA daringly posted at about
8.12 pm on its Facebook page: “Another major pipe
about to go up in flames! Brass, LNG, Boom.”
The group said any attack by the Nigerian Army might
result in human casualties, stressing that it wouldn’t
want to take life, hence it was not daring the Army.
"For every life you take, we take two. We have our
reason, we play cool, we are ready, and we must
cripple the economy. Boom, Share,” the group added.
Govt negotiating with fraudsters
On negotiation, the NDA spokesman, Mudoch Agbinibo,
said: "We, the Niger Delta Avengers, have not
negotiated with anyone.  If they (Federal Government)
have been negotiating with anybody, it clearly shows
they had been negotiating with fraudsters.’’
We’re fighting Ijaw, not N-Delta struggle —Militant
The Reformed Egbesu Boys in a statement by the
General Officer Commanding, GOC, Intelligence, self-
styled General Tony Alagbakereowei, said: “We wish to
state that the current crisis is purely and truly an Ijaw
self-determination quest involving grievous issues,
which predate the current administration.
The militant group said: “As a matter of fact, we wish
to state that the crisis is centred around Ijaw
communities in the western flank and central axis,
including Gbaramatu communities in Warri South-West
Local Government; parts of Ogbe Ijoh communities in
Warri South West Local Government; parts of Egbema
in Warri North Local Government; and Ogulagha
kingdom (Forcados Terminal) in Burutu Local
"Others are Brass and Nembe Ijaw communities in
Bayelsa State. These are exclusively Ijaw territorial
communities and boundaries within the Federal
Republic of Nigeria.
“In this connection, we wish to state that any other
group or group of persons outside these properly
identified Ijaw areas masquerading as negotiators are
only deceiving themselves and the Federal
“In this wise, we wish to  alert the Federal Government,
particularly the Minister of Defence, Secretary to the
Government of the Federation, Minister of State for
Petroleum Resources and Director-General, Department
of State Services, that the purported MEND  negotiators
are not known to the Ijaw nation and they do not have
our mandate in this subject matter.
“In fact, the so-called Niger Delta is synonymous with
the Ijaw nation- the historical and traditional home of
the Ijaws in Nigeria and the Diaspora. This does not
exclude the fact that there are other minor ethnic
groupings, but we have always played the role of big
brother to them.
“Consequently, we will not allow meddlesome
interlopers and our traditional antagonists, who have
always constituted cogs in the wheel of progress to the
Ijaw nation to take credit for our sorrow, tears and
“The Federal Government allowed miscreants and
meddlesome interlopers seeking relevance in Abuja to
gain pipeline contracts and appointments to deceive
key actors of the government.
“We are terribly angered by the antics of Ayiri Emami,
we wish to call the Itsekiri Leaders of Thought and their
monarch to call him to order as we are watching his
excesses. We are serious."
On the call for dialogue by the Federal Government,
Egbesu Boys said the claim by the Secretary to the
Federal Government that government could not trust
and negotiate with militants in the region because they
were too numerous with no clear leadership, was not
only preposterous but smacked of a predetermined
However, it said there was some truth in the SGF’s
claim, adding that to resolve contentious issues,
government should address the Nigerian Maritime
University, NMU, Okerenkoko, issue and explore
political solution in the case of ex-militant leader,
Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo.
Group's demands
The militant group demanded, among other things,
increase of derivation to 50 per cent and payment of
the 50 per cent derivation fund directly to the host
communities through appropriate structures and
renegotiation of oil blocks’ allocation in the ratio of
60-40 per cent in favour of Ijaw nation and other
interest groups.
It called for the creation of Niger Delta Development
Bank to fast          track regional development, oil
majors, including SPDC, Agip, CNL, ExxonMobil, PTDF,
NNPC and NPDC to create 6,000 jobs for the youths of
the six states of the Niger Delta, release of all detained
persons in connection with the crisis and dropping of
all charges connected therewith.
JNDLF threatens to destroy 7 flow stations
The Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force, NDLF, in a
statement by the Commander, General Duties, Akotebe
Darikoro, said:  “The oil and gas pipeline running from
Ogboinbiri in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of
Bayelsa State to Obrinkon in Ikwerre Local Government
Area of Rivers State, is to be finally cut off from
"The flow stations of Ogboinbiri, Oporoma, Peremabiri,
Tabidaba, Nembe, Brass, Chevron platform in Koluama,
Okordia-Zarama and Biseni, including Gbarain-Ubie gas
gathering plant, are to be set ablaze since the oil
companies are a major hindrance to the development
of the region.
“We further warned those staying around and within to
please leave those areas because our mission is to
cripple the economy of the country and not to kill any
human being on earth.
“The Nigerian security, which claims to be securing the
oil facilities in the region, should stay in their dwelling
places and see whether their safety will be guaranteed
on those days.
“We thank the Minister of State for Petroleum
Resources for the bold steps he personally took to
resolve the injustice created and sponsored by the
wicked companies and government in Nigeria.
"The initiative he took has been relegated to the
background by the self-acclaimed Minister of
Petroleum Resources, Muhammadu Buhari, who has
no knowledge about the suffering of the people in the
Niger Delta, but only with a mission to milk the region
and pay deaf ears to the plight of the region.
“Our struggle is beyond monetary gains and we cannot
be bribed by the Nigerian government to the detriment
of our suffering people and the struggle is unstoppable
until justice is done to the region.
“Our field commanders have been instructed on what
to do and those who are on standby in Rivers, Akwa
Ibom, Edo, Delta and Cross River are to wait after
Bayelsa State operations.
“We further warn that, henceforth, if any attack is
launched on Ijaw communities or person(s) by the
military or para-military body in the region, we will not
hesitate to order our shoot-on-sight squad to attack
any uniform personnel in the region.
“For the records, Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, are not in
Delta State, we only go there to strike and return safely
to the struggle base in Bayelsa State.”
Warns Dickson on workers salaries
The militant group also warned the governor of Bayelsa
State to pay the salaries of workers.
It stated: “We are warning Governor Henry Dickson of
Bayelsa State to, without further delay, commence final
payment of all workers, including the old pensioners,
being owed several months of salary.
“Dickson is to pay these workers/pensioners in full and
not 50 per cent or half of their legitimate salaries. He
will not lay claim to no funds to pay them, the funds
are with him, based on the allocations he received from
the federation account known to the people.
“No fund but the government is busy doing projects
and erecting personal buildings within and outside the
state, while these workers are dying in abject poverty in
the state.
"This is unacceptable and it must stop forthwith in the
region because our parents, brothers and sisters are
not to suffer unnecessarily simply because they work
for government.
“Enough is enough, he should go and bring money from
wherever he is keeping it, and fully pay these workers
and pensioners before the end of this month.
“His mother, who is over 70 years, is a staff and still
drawing salaries from Sagbama Local Government
council. What type of injustice is this?"

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