Militants claim attack on oil pipeline, allege military intimidation
Militant group, Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM), has said its strike forces ‘brought down’ the Afiesere Ere-Iwhenene major delivery line in Delta State.The militants, who recently launched Operation Crocodile Tears in angry response to the “annoying” Operation Crocodile Smile of the military, alleged that the security agents were invading and intimidating the people in the region under the cover of the exercise.
In a statement yesterday by their spokesman, General Aldo Agbalaja, the militants stated: “The Niger Delta is not a conquered territory and our people have never succumbed to intimidation before; rather we match force with the oppressor’s brutality. The Nigerian government should already know that the people of this part are not fools, who will not be able to see when they are being treated with disdain.
“Our people shall not deal with you on your terms, but on mutual terms. Until you drop these deceptive and master/servant posture, Operation Crocodile Tears shall persist.
“As a mark of our faith to totally ground the Nigerian oil economy, the gallant “Opudo” strike forces brought down the Afiesere- major delivery line in Ughelli North, leading to the UPS/UQCC operated by NPDC/ Shorelines at about 1:00 a.m. today 13th September 2016.
“Our patience is running out on our people living close to major oil and gas facilities in the upland areas of our region. The more critical assets of the oil sector are still alive because we are being careful not to hurt our people.”The militants warned of more attacks and, again, those living near major oil facilities to leave the areas for their safety.
Meanwhile, the Ijaw National Congress (INC) has said that Operation Crocodile Smile has scuttled efforts to end militancy in the Niger Delta.INC President, Charles Harry, told The Guardian that the group had advocated for cessation of hostilities in the region for at least one month to enable Ijaw leaders enter the creeks to talk to the militants, but the Federal Government thought otherwise by launching Operation Crocodile Smile which, according to him, had thwarted all efforts to reach out to the fighters.
“We have not been able to go into the creeks with all the gunboats deployed in the Niger Delta and fighter jets hovering around in the sky. The military build-up has scuttled our efforts and put our credibility in doubt. But we are still hopeful that common sense will come to bear,” Harry said.
He explained that Operation Crocodile Smile, which the military claimed was a mere routine exercise, had created a perception that the government was being hypocritical about its desire to engage the aggrieved in dialogue.
Harry added: “It was wrong for the Federal Government to authorise the military operation shortly after the militants unilaterally stopped attacks on oil and gas installations.
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