The Nigerian army on Monday, announced that it had arrested members of a militant group which has claimed responsibility for a wave of attacks on pipelines in the restive Delta region.
According to the spokesman to the Nigerian Army, Col. Rabe Abubakar, those arrested were suspected to be part of the Niger Delta Avengers(NDA), it said, a movement blamed for assaults on oil infrastructure that have helped cut Nigeria’s output to 1.65 million barrels a day from 2.2 million at the start of the year. He did not say how many were detained or when they were arrested.
The Avengers, who say they are fighting for a greater share of oil profits, an end to pollution and independence for the swampy southern region, last week warned oil firms to leave before the end of the month.
“This is to confirm the arrest of some suspected members of Niger Delta Avengers,” in connection with attacks on Chevron oil facilities, Nigeria has moved in army reinforcements to hunt the militants but British Foreign Minister Philip Hammond said on Saturday President Muhammadu Buhari needed to the deal with the root causes of the conflict because a military confrontation could end in “disaster”.
President Buhari has extended an amnesty deal signed with militants in 2009 that stepped up funding for the region. But he has cut funding for the deal and canceled contracts to former militants to protect the pipelines they used to attack.
The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) last Thursday issued a warning to oil companies, announcing the beginning of their campaign.
This was the same group that claimed responsibility for knocking Chevron’s operations in the Niger Delta offline. The group said the attacks came after issuing an ultimatum to the Nigerian government about developments in the Niger Delta.