of the Niger Delta Avengers
(NDA) have claimed responsibility for a bomb attack on an oil pipeline in the south of Nigeria, declaring an end to a ceasefire with the government agreed upon a month ago.
NDA spokesman Mudoch Agbinibo said in a statement on Saturday that the militant group had destroyed Bonny pipeline in Rivers State a day earlier as a “a wake-up call.” He also stated that peace negotiations with the government in Abuja had led nowhere.
Agbinibo accused the government of using intimidation and blackmail as tactics during talks with NDA representatives, saying authorities had created “shameful scenes obtainable in Nollywood acts,” a reference to Nigeria’s huge film industry.
“There has been no progress and no breakthrough,” he said, adding, however, that the NDA was “still in favor of the dialogue.”
Officials in Bonny, which operates the pipeline, said they were not sure if the incident late on Friday was really an attack. They said an investigation had been launched into the matter.
The NDA, which has a history of carrying out attacks on Nigeria’s oil infrastructure, said in August that it had resumed talks with the government after accepting to lay down its arms.
The group has been blamed for high-profile attacks on international companies operating in Nigeria’s oil and gas sector, including Shell, Exxon and Chevron.
Nigeria’s production has been badly hit by the NDA attacks, with reports saying that the country, which relies on oil for much of its income, has lost a third of its output over the past months as a result of surging militancy in its southern territories.
The Niger Delta Avengers had announced just before the ceasefire that if the government did not heed its demands, it would unilaterally declare areas which included the oil hub of Warri independent from Nigeria.