Buhari Cannot Threaten Us – Niger Delta Militants

Militants in Nigeria’s oil-rich Niger Delta on Monday threatened to escalate attacks on oil pipelines over the alleged neglect of local communities by the government.

In a statement, the Niger Delta Avengers, a previously unknown group, claimed that President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration valued the oil resources of the region above the lives of local people.

The group said it carried out February’s attack on an underwater pipeline that forced Shell to shut down its export terminal for weeks.

Buhari has said the government will tackle pipeline saboteurs and on Sunday the government said it was considering established a permanent pipeline security force.

“The presidency can go ahead and set up a permanent security force, as stated by the vice president when he visited the SPDC (Shell Petroleum Development Company) Forcados Terminal,” the militant group said in a statement.

“We are not deterred by such threats as we are highly spirited and shall continue blowing up pipelines until the Niger Delta people are no longer marginalized by the Nigerian actors.”

The group also called on the international community, particularly China, not to extend any loans to Nigeria because “there will be no liters of crude oil to service the loan deal”.

Attacks on oil infrastructure were stepped up in Nigeria, Africa’s largest oil exporter, since an arrest warrant was issued against a former militant leader wanted on corruption charges in January.

Oil and gas exports account for at least 89 percent of government income in Nigeria. The country has been hard-hit by the global fall in oil prices and analysts fear renewed attacks could threaten the economy.

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