The militant group Niger Delta Avengers says that by October 2016, it will display its own currency, national flag, passport, ruling council and territory as part of claims to a sovereign state of the Niger Delta.
It called on the United Nations to recognize its claims to an independent state.
“To the United Nations, we are not asking for much, but to free the people of the Niger Delta from environmental pollution, slavery, and oppression. We want a country that will turn the creeks of the Niger Delta to a tourism haven, a country that will achieve its full potentials, a country that will make health care system accessible by everyone.”
The Niger Delta Avengers made this known through their spokesperson, Mudoch Agbinibo, as part of a two-week ultimatum it gave to northerners who owned oil blocs in the Niger Delta to shut down further operations and evacuate their workers or have them blown up. Among those are former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, former Minister of Defence, General Theophilus Danjuma, late ex-Minister of Petroleum, Alhaji Rilwanu Lukman.
The group listed the following fields as their potential targets, specifying their worth and owners:
- “Apo Well awarded to Sapetro Oil. (Apo field is capable of producing 300,000 barrels per day and crude reserve of 500 million barrels)
- OML 110 Obe oil field owned by Alhaji Mai Daribe, Cavendish Petroleum, with an estimated 500 million barrels of crude oil worth $50 billion after tax.
- Akpo condensate field awarded to Sapetro Oil. This field is worth $100 billion.
- OML 112 and OML 117 awarded to AMNI International Petroleum Development Company. It is worth $150bn after tax.
- OML 115 also known as Oldwok field and Ebok field and both are worth $200 billion.
- OML 215 awarded to and operated by Nor East Petroleum Limited. The field is worth $100 billion after tax.
- OML 108 awarded to Express Petroleum Company . This field is worth $128 billion.
- OML 113 is $150 billion.
- OML 112 and OML 117.
- OML 67 is worth $180 billion.
- OPL 245 was awarded to Malabu Oil and Gas. It is worth $50 billion.
- OPL 289 and OPL 233 were awarded to Cleanwater Consortium. The two fields are worth $200 billion.
- OPL 288 was awarded to Focus Energy. The field is worth $70 billion.
- OPL 291 was awarded to Starcrest Energy Nigeria Limited. The field is worth $100 billion.”
The group further clarified
“From our analysis above, 90 per cent of oil blocs are allocated to individuals from Northern Nigeria and some confused elements from the region are calling the Niger Delta Avengers names, some are calling us criminals.”
The group also denied threatening the Group Managing Director, Ibe Kachikwu. It said that none of its members or representatives called the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources to threaten him.
This comes a week after a Chevron Platform was blown up by the group amidst criticisms by ex-militants and politicians. This introduces a twist to the story of a nation volatilized by increasing sectarian sentiments with the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra IPOB and Boko Haram making similar claims.