Nigeria is now experiencing an economic turmoil after spate of attacks on oil fields in the Niger Delta region subjecting the Africa’s largest population to its lowest oil output in 20 years.
Nigeria’s Niger Delta Chevron oil company have been shut down after a militant attack at its Escravos terminal.
A militant group called the Niger Delta Avengers has been warning oil companies in the region to shut down before the end of May. They have been accused of blowing up Chevron’s main electricity feed.
What we're saying is that whoever they are, once the presidency begins to do what is right, they (militants) will be restrained.
The Avengers are calling for a greater share in oil profits, an end to air pollution in the Niger Delta region and political independence for the region.
According to Baburaye Dakolo, a clan leader based in Bayelsa state, all the parties involved should unite to air out their differences.
“The trans-national companies are interested in having tranquility right? The federal government is interested in having tranquility, the state government is interested in having tranquility, the monarchs are interested in having tranquility, okay? Perhaps the only persons not interested in tranquility maybe the youth that is not developed, that is not trained, that is not given an opportunity. So, we have to put heads together, the monarchs with the trans-national companies, the state government, the federal government and particularly for those of us who have that special expertise,” said Dakolo.
President Buhari on the other hand has reacted by reinforcing Nigeria’s military presence in the region who can be seen dispersed at various stations in the region.
“What we’re saying is that whoever they are, once the presidency begins to do what is right, they (militants) will be restrained. Whoever they are, they have come up to say we need x, y, z. Government must look at those issues,” Udengs Eradiri, the president of Ijaw youth council said.
According to Reuters, a security expert who did not want to be named, said the military push was likely to be ineffective because the army was unfamiliar with the Delta’s creeks, whereas local militants who grew up in the swampland know the terrain well.
The same sentiment has been echoed by state committee on Niger Delta region.
During last year’s presidential election, the Christian Delta voted for their local “son” Goodluck Jonathan who was defeated by Buhari, a Muslim northerner.