The Niger Delta Avengers on Monday announced that it had ceased hostilities in the riverine region and was ready for negotiations with the Nigerian government.
The group, which has claimed responsibility for a series of attacks on oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta in the last few months, issued a statement, despite the Nigerian military reportedly launching an offensive in the region over the weekend.
The group, which had previously rejected the government’s offers of negotiations, stated its readiness to dialogue on Saturday.
“We have listened carefully and halted hostilities in the Niger Delta,” said the statement, presented as an “open letter” to President Muhammadu Buhari on the group’s website.
“We expect a genuine and positive attitude to restructuring and self-determination for every component unit of Nigeria,” the group said. It added that “no amount of troop surge and simulation exercises will make you win the oil war”.
This is coming on a day the Nigerian military said it had launched a new offensive against militants in the Delta, killing five and arresting 23, to crack down on criminal activities.
During the weekend in Kenya, President Buhari had said that the federal government was open to discussions helping resolve the issue of militancy in the Niger Delta, which accounts for the majority of Nigeria’s oil production.
Buhari, however, stated that he was doubtful that the militants had announced a ceasefire, according to his spokesman Garba Shehu.