Nigerian govt orders immediate withdrawal of troops from Niger Delta communities

FILE PHOTO
FILE PHOTO

The Nigerian government has ordered the immediate withdrawal of troops from communities in the Niger Delta region, amid allegations of a heavy-handed military response to renewed attacks on oil and gas installations in the area.

A new group called the Niger Delta Avengers has declared war on the installations, vowing to ground Nigeria’s oil production.

The group, which says it wants a sovereign state of the Niger Delta, has attacked several facilities in recent weeks, cutting oil and gas production and forcing oil companies to shut some export terminals.

Residents of the area have however complained of harassment and indiscriminate arrests by soldiers hunting the militants.

The government said it was withdrawing troops immediately. Soldiers will continue to patrol the waterways.

The decision was taken at a meeting between Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, governors from states in the Niger Delta region, some ministers and service chiefs.

The minister of state for petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, had on Monday announced that President Muhammadu Buhari had directed a two-week cessation of military offensive in the Niger Delta region, to enable the government dialogue with the militants.

Speaking to journalists after Tuesday’s meeting, Delta state governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, said, “We have also agreed that there is a need to distill military operations directly in communities, but the military need to actually remain on our waterways to ensure that we adequately man the waterways itself while we engage the communities and that engagement process is starting any moment from now”.

Mr. Okowa said during the meeting they received briefings on the current state of things and agreed that a synergy, especially in a form of intelligence sharing, between the Federal Government and the States would help in tackling the problem.

“We have taken a lot of decisions which will help us mitigate what is going on currently in the states particularly Bayelsa and Delta.

“One of such is that there is a need for us to share intelligence which is very important and for us to be proactive, working together with the various stakeholders in the states to achieve a better result
going forward,” he said.

He said the decision of withdrawing the troops took was to begin immediately.

Others at the meeting include the governors of Edo, Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Ondo and Rivers State. The deputy governor of Cross River State also attended the meeting.

All service chiefs, ministers of Niger Delta, Petroleum (state) and Defence were also in attendance.

The Edo state governor, Mr. Oshiomhole, told journalists that Nigeria was not at war as the government was ready to address the conflict.

“If we have conflicts, we will talk through those conflicts. There are laws that have to be enforced. I think that in all of these the whole idea is to find peace that is functional, that creates an environment for very decent Nigerians to live their lives,” he said.


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  • emmanuel

    Dialogue on what? Oil Blocks, Federal appointments, creation of fake Local Government in the North, Foolani herdsmen, Islamic killing in the North? Clean up Niger Delta and not only Ogoni?

  • Tommy

    NDA should at least not renege on resource control in any dialogue. The day light robbery must stop. The present system of governance is no more working.

    FOR NIGERIA TO REMAIN ONE, LETS RESTRUCTURE.. .

  • emmanuel kalu

    The only and lasting solution is a total restructuring of the federalism democracy. where states have more power, there is regional cooperation and control of assets and the government improve on environmental cleanup, investment, education and health.

  • Watch man

    Neither Niger delta Avengers nor any other militant group is the problem of Nigeria. Pipelines are not the problem of Nigeria. The problem of Nigeria (REAL AND IMAGINED) are the political leaders of this nation. They created the problem Nigeria is having today. NDA is blowing up the wrong things. They should go after the taproot of Nigeria’s problems and deal with them. After dialoguing with the current agitators, in the next three years or so. another group will be raised by politicians for the purpose of satisfying their selfish desires. Pls NDA go after the real problems; they are still at large moving about unchallenged. If you destroy and pollute your land and waters you have not achieved anything. Go after the problem and begin your action against them.

    • Otile

      Your solution is wrong. NDA and other liberation groups east of the Niger are not blood-sucking terrorists. Their mission is not to kill people. Don’t send them to kill corrupt politicians for you. It is the work of Fulani Herdsmen and Boko Haram to shed blood not freedom fighters. We value human life over here. Tell your Fulani masters or Boko Haram to kill off corrupt politicians for you. Also don’t scandalize your OPC liberators, one day you will need them to liberate Oduduwa people from the raping vandals. Our people are fighting Fulani injustice. The Fulanis are fighting for domination and control as everybody can see now. Read the ambitions of Usman Dan Fodio, Ahmadu Bello, and Mohamed Buhari. They think they were created to suppress Igbo and islamize the whole of Nigeria. God forbid evil.

      • Watch man

        Fulanis are not and will never be my masters; on this you are very, very wrong. Listen, there are many ways to kill human beings. Shooting is just one out of many. Henry Kissinger once said, “control food and you control the people”. If you destroy the land and the ecosystem of the Niger Deltans through oil spills as a result of blowing of oil pipelines you have simply destroyed the platform upon which the people feed through farming and fishing. When this happens, I tell you the Fulanis you referred to will not be affected. The people that will suffer terrible hunger, disease and eventually death are the owners of the land being destroyed. Have you forgotten that there was a disease that has been disfiguring people’s head especially little children around Ethiope area of Delta State right from the time James Ibori was the governor? Investigation traced the origin of the disease to continual breathing of the air polluted by spilled oil. This disease is not infectious and will never affect any Northern state because oil was not spilled there. Now, I have always said it that the full scale emergence of violence in the Niger Delta was as a result of the crave by politicians to win election by all means. This evil desire of politicians led them to arm youths with money and dangerous weapons to fight their political enemies. Ever since then it has become a norm in the political circles to settle scores through this means. Let me tell you, mark my words, by the time this dialogue is over the bombings will cease and every thing will normalize for about three years and thereafter another group will be positioned by some politicians under another name just to win election or get whatever they want. Look, technology has gone so advanced that if govt is serious in getting these militants they know what to do. Even the BH you referred to are not fighting for Islam; these are bunch of opportunists whose foundation was rooted in the political hegemony of the north. Are you not aware of the role certain politicians played in fueling BH? I still maintain that political leaders are the taproot of Nigeria’s problem right from independence. The problem has only taken a new dimension in recent times. NDA are not the problem; pipelines are not the problems. Politicians are. NDA should go after the problem; by the time a few taproots are dislocated the rest will grow properly.

        • Otile

          Don’t tell me that the Fulanis are home free, immortal, and nothing touches them. You think this is the case because they get whatever they want in Nigeria, especially when they get their choice of rulers like Usman Dan Fodio, Ahmadu Bello, and Buhari. I tell you what, if the oil ceases to flow for 9 months Fulani Buhari cannot pay Federal salaries, consequently most fulanis will die of hunger.

          Criminal environmental pollution may affect some people in the ND not Fulanis as you said, but remember a

          also that Fulanis suffer and die more from meningitis than ND people. If oil is not flowing from Niger Delta where do you get money to cure people in the North or prevent meningitis for that matter? If the Fulani leaders were wise they would make peace with the people of Niger Delta who feed them.

          • Watch man

            I am glad that at least you have seen reason with me that environmental pollution is not good for ND. Even the Fulanis you mentioned are being marginalized by their own leaders. I read that the land from where huge numbers of people were chased out by BH are now being purchased by the the Governor of Borno state and the order former governor whose hand was also involved in BH sponsoring. Their leaders use them and dump them just as they are doing in ND states. My dear, what Chinua Achebe wrote in his epic ‘The Trouble With Nigeria’ is indeed the trouble with Nigeria. I have critically taken my time to read that little book and have also done some research, and have come to the conclusion that the day we get the right leaders in this nation every other thing will fall in place. Now look at it: if there is massive development, employment and high standard of living, good medical facilities, booming agriculture, working electric power systems and good road/ transportation network who will go bombing any place? This is the reason why nations have leaders: to properly pilot the affairs of the nations. When Nigeria gets the right leaders every other thing will fall in place.

          • emmanuel

            Otile thank yo o, foolani will die from all manner of diseases if money nor dey again. I see Nigeria come to an end if NDA can hold on for just twelve months. You go see how their Ramadam go look like, no money fro bribe again
            Afterall, Boko Haram refused to dialogue for six years

          • Mufu Ola

            U people have nothing to talk about except Fulani which unfortunately I see as sign of inferiority complex. They are not not the cause of Nigeria’s problems. All parts of Nigeria are equal partners in crime against Nigeria.So always mentioning Fulani/Hausa appears odd expect some folks have complex.Before the recent advent of headsmen ‘atrocities’ we Southerners have committed & stillcommiting the most outlandish crimes in history.The biggest problem of this country is leadership ,,gullible populace &bigotry.

          • Otile

            I know you always lay down your life for your Fulani masters. Go ahead, defend your master’s wrongdoings to the grave.

          • Mufu Ola

            There’s no master anywhere. It’s in the imagination of those unsure of themselves.I repeat why do ascribe all your self induced woes & calamities on Fulani or Hausa? Very boring

          • emmanuel

            Bastard Lizard who does not know his cattle rearer father. You think say, your using a Yoruba name will make anyone buy into your cheap talks? You foolanis are the most backward with bouts of inferiority complex. And that drive you to steal, kill, rape and destroy.
            Na complex dey make you carry dagger around. Low brains!
            You cannot be a Southerner, scoundrel

          • Mufu Ola

            In your primitive thinking u believe every Southern must buy into your warped logic.I’m a very proud Yoruba & we don’t think irrationall like u folks.Even if we have problems with Fulanis there are civilized of handling it.It’s part our civilization which you don’t have but refer refer to as cowardice.We are only smarter than u.That has always been the truth.But u’ll never yelling about zFulanis bcos u regard them as your masters who “oppress” u.

  • Oluola

    This is the worst Government ever seen.A government that does not listen!! A confused Government. The most nepotic and tribal Government. A Government that does not place value on the lives of its citizens. A Government that places military actions before DIALOGUE. A government that divides its people along lines of Vote and dishes out resource and positions in that orde: 95% and 5%ters. A Government that protects terrorists (Fulani herdsmen) while killing peaceful protesters (IPOB, MASSOB). A Government that has no respect to the rule of law. A Government (in democracy) that disobeys court orders. A government that is Just of the North, by North and solely for the North.
    God will deliver us from the hands of this Government!!!

    • Mufu Ola

      You are not saying anything.Just ranting

      • onyearmy

        He have said it all. Just that you are ignorant and unintelligent.

        • Mufu Ola

          Is it intelligent that makes u attribute your all your problems & miseries to others.

        • Ade Omowest

          Nna u don kill grammar ooooo. “He have or he has?” Abeg correct am before Mufu Ola go deal with you again o.

          • Oluola

            Go fix your English proficiency before returning to haul insults on your superiors! Yoruba man! Neither here nor there!!!

      • Otile

        What is your own intelligent contribution?

        • Oluola

          Do not mind @mufu Ola. He would have contributed if he could! Please, spare him, just leaving his Yoruba life!

          • Julius

            hahahahaahhaa, and you are Oluola . What a fake life you have !

    • Ade Omowest

      Ranting of an unintelligent ‘Oluola’ with the Idiotic meaningless statements. Continue wailing until you are exhausted.

      • Otile

        Rant your own meaningless statements let us see.

      • Oluola

        Intelligent Yoruba man. Good only at reading comments from others! I know you would love to post comments but … I wish I could be of help.

    • Anthony Obiora

      Please tell the fools

  • FreeNigeria

    As long as the government gives in to demand from criminals, crime will persist. Fish out these criminals and dry them. This will serve as deterrent to others

    • John A

      Go and fish them out with your drone, buhari vow to give the ND militant the boko haram treatment, but he got it all wrong, we are in 2016 and not in 1984.

  • John A

    Where is Rommel with his drone?

    • Rommel

      This is to show you that we are not unreasonable people,these animals have just two weeks to become reasonable,meanwhile while negotiations are ongoing which they said will start immediately,our security will be within the vicinity to resume operations at the shortest notice should the so called talks break down and we know that there is nothing really to talk about,there will be no Niger delta republic which is their core demand, this is the last chance for these Ijaw miscreants.

      • emmanuel

        Recall what i have always called you? Coward!
        Hear yourself –
        1. The Niger Delta people can leave Nigeria now that Buhari has won election
        2. Oil is now useless, let them drink their Oil
        3. wipe out the whole Niger Delta.
        Why have you joined the train for negotiation? Unfortunately, Nigeria has gone farther and further from negotiation. It is fragmentation.
        Lazy Lizard

      • MC

        Oga you guys don’t have much say because it was a war which NDA has won therefore negotiations can never be on FG’s terms. The only effort made by the army is harassing innocent people in Niger Delta regions. None of NDA’s members was touched. You guys must respect the golden goose that lays the golden egg which has fed you parasites or bear the economic co sequences.

      • Otile

        You and your tribesmen threatened us with
        total war starting from June 1. Nibo Kay Soyemi who bragged to
        us that his new sheriff is in town, that they are about to drown all
        of us east of the Niger? Are you_fools still preparing to
        unleash your holocaust on us? So far both of you are
        paper tigers.
        Perhaps your master has gone to Ingila to procure
        weapons of
        mass destruction to level SE SS. Beelzebub your god will choke him before he does more harm to my people. Awon odale.

        • Julius

          Coward, let me see you lead your people against the government in the battle field , SS folks do not want to be part of the SE. Your coward ass never seems to notice that.

  • Kevin Peter

    At last, the voice of reasoning has prevailed. I have said several times that only dialogue and not confrontation will solve this issue. The country has lost so much economically as a result of its stiff policies in the bid to fight corruption. Genuine investors have remained unwilling to invest in the country now as EFCC seems to be biased in its war against corruption. But the fact remains that this government is not sincere in its fight against corruption. For me, using tax payers money to seek medical attention overseas when we have qualified doctors and facilities to administer on patients is the height of corruption. Come to think of a perfect resting place, we do have Obudu Cattle Range, a place tourists from other countries come to rest as just adequate for Mr President to take his rest at least to set a precedence for future leaders.

    • Izedomi Ohirein

      Appeasement to kidnappers, militants, miscreants & Oil/gas pipeline vandals does not work. They should be crushed like boko haram bandits.

  • Profy

    I miss Obasanjo. I wish he’s the President. The Man Dat refuse to negotiate with terrorist and won hands down. They called Buhari dictator and tyrant but to me this guy is too soft. My prayers is Dat after this 2 weeks, they will resume their bombing so that Military can kill this people once and for all.

    • Okafor

      You and your Obasanjo are cows and not worthy to be called human beings. I’m sorry to say this but you’ve forced me to.

      • logmein2nite

        It is shocking how black people support massacre of fellow blacks while America is ablaze if police kills just one unarmed black guy. Obasanjo never defeated militants, he simply sent troops to massacre and burn down Odi community, then threatened more genocide then the militants began to surrender. Where on earth is that a valid military or security strategy? And this foool is here hailing him.

  • Eze

    my sincerely hope is that peace and understanding may prevail at the end of the day. come to think of it, in as much as i agree that there are numerous problems confronting nigeria as a state that needs a lot of dialogue, i am more convinced that this particular one is a case of sabotage against the PMB government by not only corrupt politicians, but even the niger deltal agitators themselves. i still agree that dialogue is a way out. but this call for withdrawal of troops has confirmed that violence is the only language understood by our political leaders. just last week when biafran agitators wanted to mark the 49 anniversary of the declaration of biafra in churches and meetings, the military swooped on them and killed many armless youth. it did not stop at that, they went about arresting others in their homes etc. but if tomorrow these youth who tried throguh peaceful means to make their views known get access to guns and bombs, then the FG will call them for a peaceful dialogue. our leaders and military hiarachy must learn from the history. even though we know well the nigeria military can win victoriously over the biafran agitators if challenged to war, they should know too well that it does not pay even the FG nor the military to war against it citizens espcially at this period. let us all imbibe the spirit of love while dealing with issues that affects us a a people. the second point i wish to make is about the SE govs. i can see all the niger delta govs rallying together to save their states from military action even though some elements among them has challenged the nigeria state to war, what has happened to the criminals who call themselves gov from the SE even after the May 29 massacre in the SE? if one thing, this should show the biafran agitators that we the biafra nation as if created will be worst off given the elements in political leadership. i would rather remain a refugee rather than follow the so called biafra state if created.

    • emmanuel

      Thank you, Eze my foot.
      The Igbo people know what they want, you cannot manipulate their thinking with your cheap opinion. They want their Country and they will have it someday in the future. You can remain a refugee in your IDP camps where you rape small shudren!

      • Whalerolex

        Have you not realised SS isn’t Igbo? So you saying “the Igbo people know what they want when referring to oil” for me is wrong. SS is SS and not Igbo. Our problems are greed, selfishness and lack of love. So if/when we split, the problem still persist meaning its the beginning of the end. These NDA group will come up with another Tompolo who will get involved in another massive looting spree. Nigeria is all about opportunity. I shake my head for Nigeria

      • Eze

        bro, i do not disagree with those that want a country of their own. but my point is that even if the biafra nation is created, it does not stop the wawa people from asking for their own nation too. my thinking is that we should remain United as the poor working class against the rich ruling elites to fight for a better society. our problem is not all about tribe or religion. our problem is the same poor and unjust society where the rich are richer and the poor poorer

  • IZON Redeemer

    The Defence Headquarters has said it is prepared to flush out the Niger

    Delta Avengers, NDA, and other Militant groups operating in the Niger

    Delta Region.

    A statement signed by the Director of Defence Information, Brigadier

    General Rabe Abubakar said security operatives and the Armed Forces

    stationed in the Niger Delta region cannot be blackmailed from discharging

    their constitutional responsibilities.

    “The Defence Headquarters wishes to emphasize that the Nigerian Armed

    Forces will not relent in their efforts to flush out economic saboteurs

    masquerading under whatever guise to perpetuate evils in the Niger Delta.

    “As part of the constitutional mandate of the Armed Forces, the military

    will not jettison the confidence reposed in it by the good citizens of our

    great nation in ensuring that peace and security prevail in our land.

    • logmein2nite

      The Nigerian Army cannot do anything besides shooting unarmed and defenceless civilians. They’re only talking tough to save their face while hoping the government finds a political solution to the problem. Even ordinary Tompolo, two divisions of the Nigerian Army cannot find him. How then will you “flush out the militants”? If they could there would be no need for discussion.

  • Damilola

    This govt is just redundant … what were they thinking in the first place?

    • Tori Tautes

      Very easy to criticize. I give you full assurance that the dialogue is just to justify further military action which will be unleashed soon because we all know they won’t reach any compromise.
      When you become President, and a group takes up arms to destroy government and private installations, maybe you’d keep begging them through dialogue.
      What the militants are doing is totally wrong. I am from that region, but I know they are being used as tools by strong forces.
      I still wish to know why they have renewed agitations. The ND ministry and amnesty program are still operational.
      If Buhari eventually directs war on them, in my opinion, that’d be appropriate. They have two weeks to accept dialogue.

      • Otile

        But the Northerners had 6 yrs to refuse dialogue in the North yet nobody called for total destruction of the North.

        • Tori Tautes

          My statement didn’t refer to the NDA as southerners. Who’s a northerner??

          • logmein2nite

            You people from the ND think from your anus. You can never unite and take a common stand. Emancipate yourself from servitude. 80% of your natural resources is owned by strangers and yet you have a skewed and terrible attitude about peace. Anyway, you deserve everything happening to you guys.

          • Tori Tautes

            Oga, you sure that reply is for me? I don’t even know what you are saying. I don’t support the NDA

          • emmanuel

            Destroy appropriate. No wahala, na polluted water, the military go dey drink as long as they remain in the waters. Because there will be no more release of Federal allocation when Oi money ceases.
            Know that the OIC’s must deduct cost of production for the small Crude output and the rest is nothing to share now.
            “We would begin implementation of the budget once signed on Friday” Ask dem how many fridays don pass, not even a kobo to the construction companies to enable them recall their sacked staff as announced.
            You think say khaki na leather? The Boys say no more kidnapping, killing or piracy. It is stop Nigeria and let everyone go where they belong – Republic of Niger Delta peace!

  • favourtalk

    That is a very wise decision from the government, you can’t fight battle like that with force.

    • OMOLOYIN

      Nice move

  • JasV

    No need to waste the resources. Please remove the valuable resources for more useful assignment. I know for sure that those communities have already learnt their lesson and will not ever I repeat ever dream of having our soldiers back in their neighboring community not to talk of theirs. Well done guys, THANK YOU.

  • Right Minded

    The Nigerian Military know they can’t win this war against the freedom fighters who are more well trained and more equipped than them. It would have been a great catastrophic situation for the military if they didnt pull out because they would have been mercilessly defeated by these boys. First, it was Buhari who chickened out by not going to Ogoni land because of the threats of these boys. Secondly, Buhari ran away to London when the pressure became too much for him to bear leaving the helpless errand boy Osinbajo to the mercy of the NDA. But note that its actually the minister of interior Danbazzau who is ruling and not Buhari, the toothless dictator.

    • emmanuel

      They are only wasting their time. The Boys were at it this morning again from the news this morning – Another Chevrons line.
      Oil pipelines in the nIGER delta per kilometer are mor ethan the total number of soldiers, so imagine one soldier per kilometer, there would stil be bombimgs.
      restructire Nigeria or let Niger Delta and Biafra go.
      Biafra know their boundary and there is no pretence about fake Maps put up by divide and Rule agents who craft part of ND into Biafra.
      God Bless the Avengers.
      Communities in the South have gone to wars from killing of their people in the farms which they attributed to neighbouring communities from boundary issues, but most were actually done by foolani herdsmen. Only recently, did most realise what errors they made – break up is the answer!

    • TAWANDA INCOMMUNICADO

      The international community (including the ICC at den Haag) is aware that Danbazzau + Buhari are behind the order to extra-judicially execute peaceful unarmed protesters in the SE and SS agitating for Biafra

  • yukkmouff

    See them run with their tails between their legs. I guess fighting armed militants isn’t as easy as killing unarmed IPOB members in church!

  • Bambam

    Where is the missiles they threatened to launch?..The whole country waited and none was launched..crude bunch of people..every single corruption case in the N/Delta must proceed..Tompolo..Diezani..Uduaghan..Odili. Okonjo-Iweala all cases must proceed if we want to have a country..if the government drops the country would go bust trust me..because in future all every criminal politician needs to do to stop corruption cases against them..is to sponsor militant criminals to threaten to blow up the nation with missiles..this madness must stop!!

  • New Nigerian

    hmmm…we shall see

  • Sir Louis

    Thank God that commonsense has prevailed at last. The government and the militants or their representatives should dialogue and find a common ground on the issues of contention. Meanwhile, one hopes that the militants would henceforth stop the destruction of vital socio- economic infrastructure of the country.