'Niger Delta Avengers' deliver two-week ultimatum to oil companies to quit the country.
Rafiu Ajakaye - LAGOS, Nigeria (AA) – Militants in the Niger Delta region have ordered oil firms to shut down operations and evacuate workers from the region or risk "bloody attacks" on their facilities.
Mudoch Agbinibo, a spokesman for the new militant group, said in a statement Thursday afternoon: "The Niger Delta Avengers is giving two weeks’ ultimatum to all oil companies in our region to shut down and evacuate their staff.
"If at the end of the ultimatum and you are still operating, we will blow up all the locations. It will be bloody. So just shut down your operations and leave," Agbinibo added, boasting that the army lacks the capacity to curtail their activities.
The group has claimed responsibility for previous bombings of key oil platforms in the region in February and earlier this month, resulting in substantial disruption of gas supplies and causing power outages across Nigeria.
The Niger Delta Avengers claimed to be acting to protect the interest of the oil-rich region from further exploitation by the Nigerian government which it accuses of neglect and destruction of the environment.
The government has threatened to treat the militants as terrorists, urging them to embrace peace and lay down their arms.