Nigeria’s Niger Delta Avengers militants, who have claimed repeated attacks on oil and gas pipelines sending the country’s crude output plunging, said Wednesday they were not ready to negotiate with the government.
“We are not ready for any negotiation or dialogue with the federal government,” the group, which has claimed most attacks in the oil-rich Niger River delta area since February, said in a tweet from an unverified handle.
Nigeria’s State Minister for Petroleum Resources Emmanuel Kachikwu said on August 12 that the government was trying to facilitate talks with several groups that have sabotaged export and production infrastructure in the region.
“What I am asking for largely is a 60-day cease-fire from them so that we can have time to dialogue and I’m also elevating dialogue” to include kings and traditional rulers, he said in an interview.
Nigeria will pump no more than 1.5 million barrels a day of crude this year as sustained attacks have damaged facilities including its biggest export terminal, he said.