Oil militants in Nigeria’s southeastern delta region declared a ceasefire on Monday preparing the ground for negotiations after the Buhari government resumed payments to the militants. Nigeria’s oil industry was increased attacks from the Niger Delta Avengers on pipelines causing a decline in production.
The Delta Avengers said they are ready to negotiate with the government on the condition that government troops cease harassing locals and that international mediators are invited to the talks.
A renewed military campaign against the militant group has led to scores of them dying, according to the country’s defense department.
Nigeria has lost its place as the biggest oil producer in the continent to Angola and as the biggest economy to South Africa.
Buhari’s government is in talks with other militant groups but it was the Niger Delta Avenger attacks that result to a 40% decline in oil production. A breakaway faction of the group said opposition politicians in the region including former President Goodluck Jonathan are funding the Delta Avengers.
Militants in the region said oil production has brought no development to the people but pollution with the Avengers saying they want to entire end the production, which makes two-third of Nigeria’s economy.