Adaka Boro Avengers (ABA), a militant group in the Niger Delta; Paul Boroh, Administrator of the amnesty program for ex-militants; Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), a former militant group.
What & When
ABA has retracted its threat to declare the Niger Delta's secession from Nigeria on August 1. The militants had warned in July that they'd force the breakaway and so the army had been on alert to put down any secessionist effort. Many residents in the militant group's base communities in Bayelsa State also fled their homes expecting an army crackdown.
Meanwhile ex-militants of the group MEND planned to protest this week. The ex-militants registered on the amnesty program are entitled to a monthly allowance from the government, but they hadn't been paid for five months. Program Administrator Boroh said on Sunday 31 July, "It is true that there are some debts, but the money has come. The Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, will start payment from today or tomorrow."1
The ABA militants said they retracted their threat to secede because certain leaders from the Niger Delta (including former president Goodluck Jonathan) reached out to pacify them. But this claim wasn't verified. They are ostensibly militating for better economic and environmental conditions in the Niger Delta, just like MEND did.
ABA probably bluffed about seceding. They lack the military power to withstand the Nigerian army and they have no popular backing even in their own backyard. So far they've made no known attacks, but their presence alone and threats of destabilization are disconcerting. Meanwhile the government will prioritise paying the ex-militants so it can keep minimise restiveness while also maintaining the goodwill of local leaders who are helping the government mediate an end to the oil base attacks.
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