The Rise and Effect of New Militant Groups in the Niger Delta


The divisiveness of Nigeria can be traced to the geography, religious, ethnic and most recently natural resources that make up the region. The nation appears to be slipping into the old era of bombing and gun fire boom in the oil rich Niger Delta region. After 7 years of reduction of the gloomy challenge of militant in the Niger Delta through the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) by late President Yaradua to pave way for peace and free oil exploration in the creeks, new groups are resurfacing in Delta and Bayelsa State.
Like a storm, a more determined militant group called the Niger Delta Avenger NDA in Bayelsa has emerged, According to Vanguard the NDA has taken the nation by surprise when it announced its formation on Feb 3 2016. over the years the existence of militant self -determined groups such as Movement For The Actualization Of The Sovereign State Of Biafra (MASSOB), The Oodua People Congress (OPC), The Oodua Republic Front (ORF), The Movement For The Survival Of The Ogoni People(MOSOP), The Fragmented Islamic Group and The Movement Of The Emancipation Of Niger Delta (MEND) which proved to be the most destructive as at the time of its inception has led to crippling of the economy and great suffering on the general masses. In Jan.2006, Nigeria lost 211,ooo barrels of crude oil daily which is equal to 8.4% of Nigeria export of 2.6m (punch Jan.18 2006).By June 2006, export has been reduced by more than 25% as a result of the shutting down of 3 gas plants.
On May 18th The another new group of militant Red Egbesu Water Lion in Delta State also known as Isoko Liberation movement has given the government 7 days ultimatum to release the leader of the indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB) Nnamdi Kanu and the former National security adviser to the former President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan Col. Sambo Dasuki rtd, also that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to defreeze the bank account of the ex-militant leader Tompolo and called for unconditional and immediate payment of victims of Bonga oil spill chevron gas explosion in Koluama Bayelsa state and the ogoni cleanup.Failure to do these will led to the teaming up with the Niger Delta Avengers and the Indigenous people of Biafra (IPOB). The resurface of this group at this period of economic decadence if not handled properly will re-crimple the nation as the militant exist in the South South part of the nation which produces 90% – 95% of the Nigeria’s external earnings. The blowing up of the Bonny saku Gas line that carries natural gas to Gbaran was followed by an attack on the forcados 58-inches export pipeline at the forcados export terminal. These attack have no doubt brought a great devastation on the country oil revenue projection of 2016 budget.
The high rate of militancy since 2006 and the loose Nigeria has incurred so far shows that the government is not paying attention to the need and immediate cause that gives a rise to this groups and like the leader of the movement of survival of the ogoni people Ken Saro Wiwa before his death states that ” You can kill the massager but cannot kill the message” this connotes that despite the attempt by the government to silence this groups through Amnesty or military response, this groups will continue to rise. therefore, the government should look into a diplomatic dialogue with this groups demands and not the persons involved because in all the masses has greater effect from the actions on this groups must especially the people of such regions and communities. It was recorded that between 2006-2008, the militant almost grounded the oil business in Nigeria especially after the attack on the Bonga Oil platform within the deep sea operation area which resulted to Shell Petroleum development Company threatening to retrench the innocent citizen from those communities. These activities has also lead to the death of not only the innocent but also the military, leaving communal disunity between communities within this regions. It also affects the activities and peace of such regions especially when the military is deployed to such area and the effect can be seen in the case of the ogoni people and the people of odu community. The adverse effect of militancy in this region exposes the youth to unemployment and more criminal activity as vandalization, bunkering and even recruitment into such groups are open and free. Therefore, It is high time the government take into serious consideration the strategies to use in handling this issues as done in various countries to avoid the springing up of more groups.

About The Author

Bariduanen Lemon is a Writer and Editor who intends to keep you informed and glued to events and activities around you .Follow me on Twitter@LemonBarry and Facebook on Barry Lemon.

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