Nigeria: Fragile Peace as NDA May Resume Hostilities
Following the ceasefire declared by the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) in Nigeria’s Delta region, a couple of months back, there have been relative peace in the oil rich region and this has triggered recuperation of Nigeria’s economy.
A 2016 record shows that Nigeria loses about 800, 000 barrels per day or $6.72m daily to militants’ activities.
The economy is largely dependent and whenever the oil sources sneezes, the whole country catches cold.
On Friday, coalition of militants in the region—the NDA announced suspension of ceasefire which means that militants are about to start disturbing the peace of the economy: blowing-up of oil installations and kidnapping of oil workers.
Although opinion leaders in the region under the aegis of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) have issued calls to restrain the latest move by the militants, there are indications that the calls may all fall into deaf ears if their demands are not met by the Federal Government.
PANDEF’s immediate past secretary, Ledum Mitee, has warned that if the threat by NDA was carried out, it would have adverse effect on the 2018 budget projections and possible investments in the oil and gas sector by the international oil companies.
“Mine is to wish and make an appeal that it is not necessary at this stage. We are already in recession and every effort must be made to ensure that we regain needed revenue at this time. I still believe that there is still need for dialogue and we should always explore that opportunity. I will therefore, also call on the Federal Government to take opportunity of cases like this to do the needful. Look at the 2017 budget, for example, the amount voted for the East-West Road is not up to what was voted for Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, not to talk of what was voted for the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, or Kano-Maiduguri Road. I think government should also show that they can match action with words.” Mitee said.
PANDEF, led by Chief Edwin Clark, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, former Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) president, Ledum Mitee, and several others on November 1, 2016, met Buhari in Abuja, where they presented their 16-point agenda. This led to the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, setting up an inter-ministerial committee to look into the agenda, and how it should be implemented. Nothing has been done, not even the promised opening of the Maritime University last month.
The NDA had, while announcing resumption of hostilities on Friday, blamed the Federal Government for not keeping to its promise to redress the situation of the Niger Delta through the consideration of the16-point demand submitted by PANDEF.