On Saturday, July 2, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, stated that the presence of soldiers in the region does not mean that the government was against dialogue.
Speaking particularly with respect to the Niger Delta Avengers, Mr. Lawal said there was need for the group to identify its representatives for a dialogue. He said:
“Government is not averse to discussing with them (militants) but we need to know who is in charge and who we can discuss with meaningfully; that’s the dilemma of the government at the moment.
“There are so many groups making it difficult to know who to talk to and the level of control that group will bring to the process.”
Lawal pointed out that the activities of the militants were more detrimental to the region than other parts of the country and therefore, appealed to leaders of Niger Delta communities to call the militants to order. His words:
“When they blow up oil pipelines, the spill destroys their water and lands, a development that will take years to recover. They are more victims than the rest of Nigerians”.
Meanwhile, the Niger Delta Avengers announced some of its recent attacks on oil and gas producing facilities in Delta State over the weekend. The group said it bombed an NNPC pipeline conveying crude to Warri refinery in Delta State on Friday night.
In a series of tweets posted on its Twitter handle, the Avengers claimed responsibility for the Friday attack and also announced more attacks on oil facilities carried out between Saturday night and early Sunday morning. The tweets read:
“At 11:26 p.m. on Saturday, @NDAvengers blow up (sic) two NPDC major crude trunk lines close to Batan Flow Station in Delta State.
“At 1:15 a.m. on Sunday, @NDAvengers blow (sic) up two major Chevron oil wells. Well 7 and Well 8 close to Abiteye Flow Station in Delta State.”
The militant group has consistently rejected dialogue with the Federal Government and is demanding that the people of the Niger Delta region be allowed to control their resources.