NIGER Delta Avengers, the new militant group which has claimed responsibility for attacks on oil installations in the Niger Delta, has slammed those condemning its operations and calling its members criminals, describing them as cowards.
The group also boasted that it has infiltrated the military, saying: “To the Nigeria military, the Niger Delta Avengers is among you. And we know all your plans, so we will always be 10 steps ahead of you.”
In a statement by its spokesperson, Mudoch Agbinibo, the group said: “We have been seeing lots of reports about us in the media. Some are asking, who are they avenging? Some are calling us empty heads, while ex-agitators have been condemning us on a daily basis. To our critics from the region, we want you to know that you are all cowards and afraid to stand for your people.”
Niger Delta activist and Itsekiri leader, Ayiri Emami, Okerenkoko leader, Michael Johnny and Commandant-General of Riverine Security (Coast Guard of the Federation), Commander Bibi Oduku, were among those that had branded the Avengers as criminals.
The Avengers, which obviously has an axe to grind with ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, said: “The Niger Delta Avengers is more concerned with people of Niger Delta unlike you (ex-agitators) that were into kidnapping, killing of Nigerian soldiers and piracy.
“But we were able to carry out all our operations without killing a fly. We have sophisticated arms far better than what you used during your kidnapping days. “After the amnesty Programme you (ex-agitators) have been enjoying patronize from the government and royalty from multinational oil companies. While we (Avengers) have been strategizing on how the voice of the Niger Deltans can be heard. We are fighting a radical fight without taking any life.
“Let us make it clear to you, our elder brothers (ex-agitators) that we are not begging you to join this campaign. We are young, educated, well traveled and most of us were educated in East Europe, but do not worry, when we achieve our goal (sovereign state of Niger Delta), then you people will be proud of us.
“In as much as we respect you as our elder brothers (ex-agitators), please do not dare to stand on our way because if you do we will crash you. To the citizens of the Niger Delta, who share same idea with us, we thank you all. Just know that no amount of criticism within and outside the region can stop us.
“For the record, the Niger Delta Avengers is enjoying the blame game going around. In our meeting comprising all heads of the strike teams, which was held in Bayelsa, the Niger Delta Avengers High Command concluded that if the military harass or invade any community in the region, then you (Nigeria military) will get a feel of the Avengers,”
“To our brothers from Eastern Nigeria who have been condemning and calling us names , the simple fact you are leaving comfortable doesn’t mean we like you. The commander of Strike Team 9 of the Niger Delta Avengers is from Eastern Nigeria. So nobody should limit this struggle to the Ijaws of Niger Delta only. The Leader of Strike Team 6 that blew up Chevron valve platform is Itsekiri. The commander of our elite strike team one is from Akwa Ibom,” it said. – Vanguard
— May 16, 2016 @ 2:30 GMT