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Reps support military action against Niger Delta Avengers …as militants issue 48-hour ultimatum for soldiers to vacate creeks

By The Citizen
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The House of Representatives said on Thursday that it was in support of any action taken so far by the Federal Government to contain the rising attacks on oil pipelines in the Niger Delta by the Niger Delta Avengers.

Attacks on oil installations lately have reportedly resulted in a drop of daily crude oil production output from 2.2 million barrels to less than 1.5mbpd.

The government responded to the development by deploying soldiers in the Niger Delta creeks in a bid to quell the attacks.

Speaking on the development at the National Assembly on Thursday, the Chairman, House Committee on Media and Public Affairs, Mr. Abdulrazak Namdas, said the House was in support of the government's actions.

Namdas applauded the role of the military in all the flashpoints of the country like the North-East, where men and equipment had been deployed to bring escalating security situations under control.

On the Avengers, he stated, 'We are very comfortable with what the Federal Government is doing.

'We will support the government to go ahead with what they are doing. We hope very soon, this issue will be resolved.'

Namdas hinted that the House Committee on Defence had also concluded a tour of the Niger Delta to assess the security situation of the area, adding that the committee would soon submit a report on its findings to the House.

The attacks had also been partly blamed for the decline in electricity supply in the country, owing to disruption of gas installations that power generation plants.

Meanwhile, a consolidated group of militants under the aegis of Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF) on Thursday threatened to launch six missiles in the Niger Delta region.

The group also issued a 48-hour ultimatum to the military to vacate the creeks or be faced with a full blown war.

The group said it would commence the testing of its six missiles which would last for three days on June 7.

Though it did not disclose the nature of the missiles, it warned that no airplanes should fly in and out of the country within the period, claiming that the weapons were capable of hitting any object despite its size.

It said its fighters trained for that purpose had already arrived the region with its foreign partners through what it described as the country's porous borders.

The group in an electronic statement said it took the decision to further wreck havoc in the region in a meeting attended in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, by its commanders.

The militant group said Bayelsa State not Delta State is the command base of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) and warned the Commissioner of Information and Orientation in Bayelsa, Mr. Jonathan Obuebite to stop criticizing NDA.

The group in the statement which repeatedly referred to President Muhammadu Buhari as 'Pharaoh', said the highest organ of JNDLF, the Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC) concluded that the launching of the missiles would signal its readiness for the final breakup of the country.