A Review of the Nigerian Energy Industry

Niger Delta agitators threaten to disrupt Nigeria’s oil output

*Niger Delta militants threaten mayhem.

Mkpoikana Udoma

06 September 2018, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt — Niger Delta Agitators have announced plans to return the creeks over the failure of international oil companies operating in the region to relocate their corporate headquarters to their host communities as earlier directed by the Federal Government.

To this end, the Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators arising from its general assembly meeting warned that any oil company which fails to relocate its headquarters to the region before the end the year should vacate region.

A statement signed by the Covener, Coalition of Niger Delta Agitators, General John Duku, and 12 other heads of militancy groups said the ceasefire agreement ends today and oil output may not go beyond 200barrels per day while accusing President Muhammadu Buhari of playing politics on issues concerning the region.

The Agitators frowned on the failure of President Buhari to give his assent to the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill, PIGB, which was Passed by the National Assembly since March 2018.

They called on oil workers’ unions to withdraw their members from oil rigs and Platforms as their safety would not be guaranteed after the end of December 2018.

According to the statement, “We condemn the statements made by the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo in respect of the relocation of oil companies’ headquarters to Niger Delta and Restructuring of the country.

“After extensive deliberation on these issues, we hereby issue an ultimatum that any oil company that fails to relocate its headquarters to the Niger Delta between now and December 2018 should stop operation and vacate the Niger Delta region or face the consequences.

“The refusal of the President to sign the Petroleum Industry Governance Bill into law is viewed as an attempt to forcefully control the Niger Delta resources by proxy and we advise Mr. President to have a rethink on this issue.

“According to reports, the President refused to sign the bill for fear that; it would weaken his power as the Minister of Petroleum Resources; his Ministers he consulted over the bill advised him against giving his assent as the Petroleum Regulatory Commission would then have powers to check his excesses, and the “fiscal content” of the bill would be subject to litigation.”

“The Coalition wishes to state here clearly that we had fulfilled our part by maintaining total peace and ceasefire in the Niger Delta since 2017 as advised by Niger Delta elders and leaders, the oil output during the period have increased tremendously, however, the federal government has been playing politics with the Niger Delta people.

“We hereby officially announce that our cease-fire ends today and we are returning to the creeks. We assure the Presidency that with just one month of our operation, the oil output will return to 200 barrels per day; we shall crush anything that crosses our line of operation.

“The actions and utterances of the Presidency have taken us back and we cannot help but stand firm and fight with aggression for what rightly belongs to us.

“Finally, we hereby call on the International Oil Companies, PENGASSAN, NUPENG as well as other individuals that have businesses with Oil Companies in Niger Delta especially on the platforms, rigs, pipelines and terminals to withdraw their members on or before end of December 2018 as we cannot assure the safety of anyone anymore from now on.

“We want to assure you that our operation shall be second to none and we shall ensure the total liberation of our land and people from the injustices and neo-colonialism of the Nigerian state.”

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