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SGF to Militants: FG Ready for Dialogue as NDA Attacks more Oil Facilities


The Nigerian government is ready to dialogue with militants in the Niger Delta region of the country.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Babachir Lawal, who disclosed this while speaking with journalists at his country home in Adamawa State, said what the Federal Government was waiting for was to identify true leaders of the militants.
This is as the Niger Delta Avengers militants announced Sunday morning that they blew up oil facilities operated by Chevron and the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), between Saturday night and Sunday morning.
But Lawal said the militants needed to identify their representatives before a dialogue can take place.
“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.”
He appealed to leaders of Niger Delta communities to intervene by calling the militants to order, pointing out that the activities of the militants were more inimical to the region than other parts of the country.
“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,” he said.
Lawal said the activities of the militants, which he described as “act of sabotage,” had seriously affected the nation’s crude oil export and energy supply”, he added.
Meanwhile, the Avengers announced Sunday morning that the group carried out attacks against oil facilities.
The militants in a tweet said: “At 11:26 p.m. on Saturday, @NDAvengers blow up two NPDC major crude trunk lines close to Batan Flow Station in Delta State.
“At 1:15 a.m. on Sunday, @NDAvengers blow up two major Chevron oil wells. Well 7 and Well 8 close to Abiteye Flow Station in Delta State,” the group said in tweets on its Twitter handle.
The militants claimed the five attacks on the country’s oil and gas infrastructure is a revival of their sabotage campaign after a recent lull.
The group said, it remained resolute not to dialogue with the government, while demanding for full resource control for the Niger Delta region.
A security officer confirmed the attacks and said the explosion happened simultaneously.
According to him, “I just spoke with my men in the area and they confirmed the attacks.
“Preliminary investigations so far from our men in the field is that dynamite was used to blow up the facilities just like in previous attacks”, the source said.
Since early this year, the Avengers have been bombing pipelines as they crave to have a bigger share of crude revenue and greater political autonomy in the Niger Delta region.
The sabotage is hitting the economy — the Central Bank Governor has warned a recession is “imminent” — as the country is struggling with lower revenue as a result of the low global price of oil.

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