The umbrella body of Ijaw youths, the Ijaw Youth Council Worldwide, has condemned the nefarious activities of a new militant group in the Niger Delta, the Niger Delta Avengers.
The IYC spokesman, Mr. Eric Omare, said in an interview on Monday that the group did not see the justification in the Niger Delta Avengers embarking on destruction of oil facilities and wreaking havoc on the region’s environment.
However, Omare appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to go after the real culprits and not the innocent communities and people in the region in his government’s efforts to unmask the characters behind the new militancy group.
The new militant group in the oil-rich region, the Niger Delta Avengers, has claimed responsibility for the recent attacks on the SPDC platform at Forcados, the Chevron Okan platform at Abiteye in Escravos, and the pipelines transporting crude oil to the Warri and the Kaduna refineries.
President Buhari has set machinery in motion to uncover those behind the recent bombings of oil installations in the region as well as an express directive to the military to halt the return of militancy in the region.
Omare stated, “We do not see the justification in the Niger Delta Avengers embarking on destruction of oil facilities because Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, denounced the group.
“I think Tompolo did the proper thing by coming out to inform the entire world that he was not part of the NDA when there were insinuations to the effect that he was behind them.
” As with other cases of attack on oil facilities, the Niger Delta environment and people are the ultimate victims and would suffer from these latest attacks. The IYC believes that irrespective of their grievances, there are better ways of expressing them rather than contributing to the further destruction of the already massively degraded Niger Delta environment.”
On the threat to crush the militants, he said while the IYC did not support the attacks on oil facilities, it hastened to add that it should not be used as a justification to attack innocent Niger Delta communities.
Omare added, “The security agencies should go after the real culprits and not innocent communities and people in the region. From our experience, the security personnel in a bid to impress their superiors and justify the huge amount of money budgeted for the purpose, always attack innocent communities and people.
“This must not be allowed to happen this time around . We would also advise the Federal Government to be prompt in directing security agencies to deal with insurgent groups all over the country including the Fulani herdsmen who have been killing innocent Nigerians just like they have just directed in respect of the Niger Delta Avengers.”