Niger Delta Avengers Goes Into Hiding As Gov. Dickson Warns Militants Against Triggering Repeat Of Odi Massacre
Members of Niger Delta Avengers, largely an Ijaw militant group, which admitted bombing oil and gas installations in Delta State, recently, have gone underground following a massive manhunt for them by the Army, Navy and other security agencies.
This is coming as Governor Dickson of Bayelsa State condemned the actions of the militants, saying unwarranted attacks and killings of the nation’s security personnel were putting the state and the region in bad light and setting a stage for a repeat of the ugly incident that led to the 1999 Odi massacre in Kolokuma/Opokuma area of the state.
President Muhammadu Buhari had recently given a marching order to the military to crush the group.
The group, which had boasted, May 5, in a statement by its spokesperson, Madoch Agbinibo, that it was on ground and neither the Federal Government nor ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, could stop it from crippling the nation’s economy, was reported to have tactically retreated to fight another day.
A source said: “People say the headquarters of Niger Delta Avengers is in Delta State. I do not think so, but I know that they have their network of information gathering and are conscious of the directive by President Buhari to security agencies to crush the militant group.”
The unrepentant group, whose strike teams blew up Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC and Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, facilities, last week, has also not responded to mail inquiries since Sunday.
The group’s other channels of communication have also been shut down, an indication that it has temporarily gone out of circulation.
However, security operatives, who are collaborating with some Niger Delta groups, had obtained information on the identities of some members of the group and would likely pick some of their family members to force them out of hiding. The Niger Delta Riverine Security (Coast Guard of the Federation) headed by Commander Bibi Oduku, is one of such groups working closely with relevant security agencies to bring members of Niger Delta Avengers to face the full wrath of the law.
According to Commander Oduku, “Niger Delta Avengers is a criminal and devilish group, which is interested, in crippling economic activities in the Niger Delta and Nigeria. I advise Niger Delta youths not to fraternize with these criminals.”
Meanwhile, Governor Dickson has called on the militants perpetrators and their collaborators to stop with immediate effect.
“Terrorism does not favour peace, neither can democracy express itself through violence,” he said.
Dickson stated that the killings were also putting the innocent citizens in the state and the Niger Delta region in danger.