Nigeria: Twitter Takes Down Niger Delta Avengers’ Account

Micro-blogging website, Twitter, on Monday suspended an account belonging to a group of oil pipelines saboteurs, Niger Delta Avengers.

The suspension came a day after the group said it successfully launched five attacks on oil installations within two days.

Notorious for its indiscriminate destruction of oil and gas installations owned by major oil corporations across the delta states, the Avengers had since inception used Twitter to announce attacks.

The group first used Twitter to claim responsibility for the bombing of Bonny Soku gas export line in Gbarain, Bayelsa State, in February 2016.

Since then, it had claimed responsibility for more than 24 attacks as at July 2.

While announcing attacks, it also demanded a better living condition for the people of the oil-rich region. At some point, the group demanded a sovereign state for the Niger Delta.

Shell, Chevron, Eni, NNPC and other oil companies operating in the region had their facilities attacked in recent months.

In June, Shell said it would keep the Forcados Export Terminal shut until activities returned to normal. Other companies also evacuated their staff.

The Avengers said its activities had seen Nigeria’s oil exports cut by more than half, to about 800,000 barrels per day – vowing to bring it to “zero” in the coming months.

The Nigerian government said it was willing to negotiate with leaders of the group, but its spokesman, Mudoch Agbinibo, announced in June that only a dialogue supervised by foreign countries and corporations would make it engage the government.

Avengers’ followers on Twitter soared from less than 1,000 in April to over 30,000 followers as at July 2.

The Avengers’ website, was, however, still running as at 2:44 p.m. on July 4.

Twitter did not immediately respond to PREMIUM TIMES’ enquiry seeking further clarification about the decision to deactivate NDA’s account.

Source: Premium Times