The rampaging Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, on Sunday, dared the Nigerian Army and Navy to meet them in combat in the creeks of Niger Delta.
The group, which had claimed most of the attacks on oil facilities in the oil rich region, also denied that the suspects arrested by the Nigerian Navy were their members.
The NDA, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Murdoch Agbinibo, challenged the Commander of Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie and Commanding Officer, NNS Delta, Commodore Joseph Dzunye, to “come to the creeks of the Niger Delta, instead of staying in the cities and arresting “sleeper” agents, who they brand as NDA members to curry favour from their superiors”.
The group said Stanley Tonghan and Felix Miyenminiye, arrested by the navy, few days ago, were not their members, claiming that the two suspects were agents working in conjunction with security agencies and were paid N5 million by two leaders, whose names it chose to withhold, to feed the Nigerian military intelligence on the activities of the group.
The statement read in part: “We made it clear that the Nigeria military is using sleepers’ agents to track or checkmate the activities and operation of the Niger Delta Avengers. But the more they try, the more they run into crisis with their employed sleeper agents.
“Stanley Tonghan and Felix Miyenminiye that were arrested and paraded by the Nigeria Navy Delta are few of the sleeper agents working for the Nigerian Military in conjunction with (two leaders, names withheld)
“The suspects (Tonghan and Felix Miyenminiye) were paid 5 Million Naira to give Nigeria military intelligence on the activities of NDA. On failing to deliver, the suspects were arrested and tagged NDA members, what a shame?
“Stanley Tonghan and Felix Miyenminiye are not members of NDA; we do not know or have any connection with them. The Navy Commanding Officer, NNS Delta, Warri, is trying to impress his boss in Abuja, by arresting sleeper agents recruited by his predecessor.
“Any criminal arrested is now an NDA member. Since we (NDA) started the struggle, none of our operatives has been arrested. All those in detention in the name of NDA are not part of NDA, the world should know this.
“Nigerian military have not seen embarrassment. NDA will keep embarrassing you because the only thing you are good at doing in the Niger Delta region is arrest and killing of innocent citizens of the Niger Delta in the name of looking for NDA and illegal bunkering.
“If the Nigerian military is serious about arresting NDA, let them come to the creeks of the Niger Delta; that is where we dwell not the city. If I (Brig.Gen Moduch Agbinibo) was the Commanding Officer NNS Delta (Commodore Joseph Dzunve) and Commander of the so-called Operation Delta Safe (Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie), I would have been in the creeks instead of sitting at the comfort of my air-conditioned office,” NDA said in the statement.
The group also has some words for Niger Delta elders: “Hope it clear to you our elders that the President Muhammadu Buhari- led government is not reliable, reasonable, responsible and not ready to dialogue.
“Can you tell the world the government official you been dialoguing with? Is it the President? On the other hand, is there any committee that is set up for it? We respect you our elders, as such stop behaving as if the Niger Delta is a seized region and stop acting like you are begging the government for dialogue.”
“The worst the government will do is to bombard our villages and towns in the name of looking for NDA. Therefore, our elders should tread carefully with the Nigerian government.”
To the military, the Avengers said: “The reason behind military harassment of towns and villages in the Niger Delta is because NDA have not confronted the Nigerian military in battle. We are not scared in confronting you.
“The creeks of the Niger Delta belong to us, so defeating the Nigerian military is not hard for us. We have made it clear on many occasions that our business is to cripple the Nigerian economy not to kill military. The Nigerian military should, not we, (NDA) avoiding them, that is a sign of weakness,” the group added.
By Timothy Enietan-Matthews
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