The Audacity of the Niger Delta Avengers

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Various assumptions have emerged in attempts to explain the resurgence of armed militancy in the Niger Delta since February. Some explanations seek to connect the renewed militancy to the failure of former President Goodluck Jonathan, a native of the Niger Delta, to secure a second four-year term (2015-2019) as President of Nigeria. This, they argue, could have sustained the gains of former militants who had contracts to protect oil installations in the region (via a 2009 amnesty agreement with the federal government).

Others argue that the renewed militancy is driven by the frustrations of several mid-level commanders and foot soldiers in the pre-2009 armed militancy, who felt short-changed in the amnesty deal and now have no prospects of a better settlement under President Muhammadu Buhari (who came to office in May 2015). There is also speculation that the resurgence of militancy in the region emerges from altruistic motives, such as commitments to the protection of the environment and minority rights of the Niger Delta people.

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