Nigeria and the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) militant group responsible for several attacks on oil infrastructure, are advancing discussions to end the wave of violence that has curtailed the country’s output to a mere 680,000 barrels per day (bpd).
However, this follows just another hit by the Group, on oil facilities owned by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
“At 4:00 AM, @NDAvengers blow up NNPC Pipeline in Oruk Anam Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom”, the Group published on its Twitter account.
At 4:00am @NDAvengers blow up NNPC Pipeline in Oruk Anam Local Government Area in Akwa Ibom.
— Niger Delta Avengers (@NDAvengers) 16 June 2016
Terrorists Attacking Oil Sites Close To Peace Agreement
The meeting was held yesterday in the Delta State, between the Nigerian Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, and representatives of the NDA, as well as of other militant groups.
The oil militants’ claim that they have blown up the NNPC pipeline represents their first attack since they expressed a willingness to engage in talks with the government.
However, the Police claims the explosion was an “accident” and the militant group was not involved. According to Akwa Ibom state police chief Murtala Mani, cited in the Nigerian media, the incident follows a leak and repair works are ongoing.
Talks Have Begun To “Yield Fruits”
So far, the meeting has reportedly resulted in a visit by the minister to Gbaramatu, to show the government’s commitment to the reinstatement of the “Maritime University” project, which is one of the key divergence points in the conflict.
During a meeting last week with Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and governors of the southern states, the minister had reportedly sided with the governors who were demanding corruption charges to be dropped against politicians and militants in exchange for peace.
Now, according to Kachikwu, the discussion with the NDA has begun to “yield fruits”. If they do strike a deal, international oil companies and local operators will finally be able to start undertaking repairs on their oil facilities throughout the Niger Delta.