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Commandant General of the Riverine Security (Coast Guard), Commander Bibi Oduku, whose organization is collaborating with security agencies to track down criminals on the waterways, has alerted the nation to the fact that the rampaging Niger Delta Avengers were now planning to bomb bridges to cut off the Niger Delta region from other states.
Among the bridges pencilled down are Choba Bridge, Rivers State, Kaiama Bridge, Patani, Imo River Bridge between Rivers and Abia; and the bridge linking Rivers and Akwa-Ibom in Ogoni axis.
The outlaws are also alleged to be targeting Nigeria Port Authority, NPA, Warri; NPA, Port Harcourt; NPA Onne; NPA Calabar; MTN; Airtel; Glo and Etisalat facilities in the Niger Delta region with other major oil and gas facilities.
He urged security agencies to take proactive steps to forestall these attacks and this comes as there are cracks in the ranks of the former militants
While the Avengers have vehemently opposed to any negotiation with Abuja, other groups in the region are ready to parley with the federal
“This is to inform the general public that we are not negotiating with any committee. If the Federal Government is discussing with any group, they are doing that on their own’’, Avengers had declared.
But the Joint Revolutionary Council, JRC, of the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Front, JNDLF, the presumed umbrella group of militants in the
region, countered the Avengers, at the weekend, saying militants would jaw-jaw with government.
The JRC ‘General Duties’, Akotebe Darikoro, in a statement, with three others, informed they were already in talks with the government.
It said: “We shall continue to engage in dialogue with the Federal Government if our demands are met. “Our representatives in the dialogue,
especially the governors and others, will not betray our demands with the Federal Government. Any betrayal on their own part shall be viewed as
betrayal of the entire region and we shall go after them immediately as they know our mode of operation in which they will not escape from us.’’
On the plea by MEND that it should negotiate with Abuja, Avengers in a statement by its spokesperson, ‘Brig General’ Mudoch Agbinobi, described MEND as a band of criminal elements and political sidekicks of one of the South-South governors and an ex-governor from the region.
“The NDA is unperturbed, we have a mandate that is clearly a departure from those old tactics of the defunct so-called MEND that indulged in
kidnapping, hostage taking, sea piracy, illegal oil bunkering, bank robberies and social crimes’’.
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