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Ijaw Youths Condemn Renewed Attacks By Niger Delta Avengers
The Ijaw Youths Council, IYC, has condemned renewed attacks by the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, militant group, describing it as a breach of the ceasefire agreed with the federal government to pave way for dialogue.
The NDA had in a statement from its twitter account claimed to have blown up five oil wells operated by different oil companies in the region.
Eric Omare, spokesman for the IYC, said the attacks were a setback to ongoing peace talks and called on the group to halt attacks on oil installations to pave way for meaningful dialogue.
In a statement issued by Omare on Sunday in Yenagoa, the IYC regretted that the negotiators failed to take advantage of the visit of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources to advance the peace process.
“It is unfortunate and worrisome that there is a resumption of fresh attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region by the Niger Delta Avengers,” Omare stated.
“The visit of the Minister for State, Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu’s to the creeks some weeks ago generated so much goodwill and commendation from the people of the region,
“The IYC had expected the federal government to take advantage of that goodwill to engage stakeholders on how to find short and long term solutions to the problem.
The youth group urged the NDA militants to halt further attacks on facilities considering the adverse effects of the attacks on the environment and give room for constructive dialogue.
Several efforts to verify the claims of several attacks on Chevron between Friday and Sunday were futile as calls and sms to Chevron Spokesman, Sola Adebawo did not get a response.
A security source in the area however said that officials of Chevron maintained that they were not aware of the attacks as at Sunday.
He said the claims by the militants were mere propaganda, referring to them as puppets in the hands of “desperate and attention-seeking politicians”
Garba Mohammed, the spokesman for Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, which operates a joint venture with Chevron reportedly also said the corporation was not aware of any damage to its facilities in the region.
But the Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, Celestina Kalu, confirmed the attacks to a television station, saying on Sunday, “the Chevron Oil Wells seven and eight were blown up between 1:10 and 1:15 a.m.”