Developing

22
Nov
12:29 UTC

Nigeria Alert: New militant group, Bayan-Men, destroy oil well in Omoku, Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni LGA, Rivers State on November 21

Please be advised

  • Reports indicate that a new militant group calling itself the Bayan-Men destroyed an oil well operated by the local subsidiary of a prominent Italian oil company in Omoku, Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area (LGA), Rivers State on November 21.
  • At the time of writing, the circumstances and modus operandi of the attack remain unclear. 
  • Following the incident, a Bayan-Men leader in Port Harcourt told reporters that this action was due to the oil company’s failure to negotiate with local communities.
  • He threatened the oil company with the possibility of further attacks on its facilities, should it refuse to engage directly with local communities within 24 hours. 
  • Reports indicate that the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Rivers State Command confirmed the attack, and announced a joint task force had visited the area to investigate the incident. 
  • The NSCDC stated that perpetrators would be caught, and appealed to the local community to report any further plans by militants to attack oil facilities. 

Assessments & Forecast

    1. This attack is significant, given that the assailants damaged an oil well, but also given that there is little information regarding Bayan-Men, as the group had not previously claimed any attacks or activity prior to this incident. The attack suggests either weak security in the perimeter of the facility, or collusion with those guarding the facility. Given the relatively small scale of the attack and the paucity of information, it is unclear if the assailants will launch further attacks. However, if this group does launch additional attacks, the incidents are likely to be small-scale in nature. Given these conditions, it is plausible that the Bayan-Men are disillusioned locals showcasing their disapproval of the oil companies in the area, with the attack on the oil well being influenced by similar previous attacks associated with former Niger Delta militancy. 
    2. This public displeasure is likely heightened by the fact that this particular oil facility has been the cause of multiple oil spills in Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni LGA, and has been accused by residents of utilizing faulty refinery equipment to lower costs which has allegedly lead to recurrent cases of spillages. More broadly, this attack highlights the impact of oil extraction by foreign companies in the Niger Delta region, whose gas flaring and oil spillages have resulted in extensive environmental pollution, and a reduced source of income in local communities. The Bayan-Men’s demand for direct negotiation with oil companies highlights a complete lack of faith in the federal government intervention in the matter. Such a stance is indicative of the fact that while the government and oil companies have sought to engage with local stakeholders, there remains a strong local perception that any government or oil company action has not resulted in sustained benefits for local communities. 
    3. FORECAST: Given the importance of oil exportation to Nigeria’s GDP, the federal government will likely intervene by strengthening security around oil facilities in the area, while also holding consultations with Omoku community stakeholders. However, precedent indicates that these negotiations will not yield significant results, and tensions will persist. In the immediate term, the government will likely arrest individuals and bolster security in the perimeter of oil facilities to reassure foreign companies of their continued security in the Niger Delta region. 

Recommendations

  1. Travel to Abuja, Lagos, and Port Harcourt can continue while exercising increased vigilance and adhering to stringent security precautions regarding criminal and security threats.
  2. Those operating or residing in Nigeria, particularly high-profile individuals, are advised to obtain properly vetted security personnel given the high risk of kidnapping.
  3. Obtain a security escort for any overland travel in Nigeria given the frequency of highway robbery and abduction.
COUNTRY RISK LEVEL High
AFFECTED AREA Omoku, Rivers State, Nigeria
INCIDENT RISK LEVEL Medium
STRENGTH OF SOURCE Credible

Please be advised

  • Reports indicate that a new militant group calling itself the Bayan-Men destroyed an oil well operated by the local subsidiary of a prominent Italian oil company in Omoku, Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Government Area (LGA), Rivers State on November 21.
  • At the time of writing, the circumstances and modus operandi of the attack remain unclear. 
  • Following the incident, a Bayan-Men leader in Port Harcourt told reporters that this action was due to the oil company’s failure to negotiate with local communities.
  • He threatened the oil company with the possibility of further attacks on its facilities, should it refuse to engage directly with local communities within 24 hours. 
  • Reports indicate that the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Rivers State Command confirmed the attack, and announced a joint task force had visited the area to investigate the incident. 
  • The NSCDC stated that perpetrators would be caught, and appealed to the local community to report any further plans by militants to attack oil facilities. 

Assessments & Forecast

    1. This attack is significant, given that the assailants damaged an oil well, but also given that there is little information regarding Bayan-Men, as the group had not previously claimed any attacks or activity prior to this incident. The attack suggests either weak security in the perimeter of the facility, or collusion with those guarding the facility. Given the relatively small scale of the attack and the paucity of information, it is unclear if the assailants will launch further attacks. However, if this group does launch additional attacks, the incidents are likely to be small-scale in nature. Given these conditions, it is plausible that the Bayan-Men are disillusioned locals showcasing their disapproval of the oil companies in the area, with the attack on the oil well being influenced by similar previous attacks associated with former Niger Delta militancy. 
    2. This public displeasure is likely heightened by the fact that this particular oil facility has been the cause of multiple oil spills in Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni LGA, and has been accused by residents of utilizing faulty refinery equipment to lower costs which has allegedly lead to recurrent cases of spillages. More broadly, this attack highlights the impact of oil extraction by foreign companies in the Niger Delta region, whose gas flaring and oil spillages have resulted in extensive environmental pollution, and a reduced source of income in local communities. The Bayan-Men’s demand for direct negotiation with oil companies highlights a complete lack of faith in the federal government intervention in the matter. Such a stance is indicative of the fact that while the government and oil companies have sought to engage with local stakeholders, there remains a strong local perception that any government or oil company action has not resulted in sustained benefits for local communities. 
    3. FORECAST: Given the importance of oil exportation to Nigeria’s GDP, the federal government will likely intervene by strengthening security around oil facilities in the area, while also holding consultations with Omoku community stakeholders. However, precedent indicates that these negotiations will not yield significant results, and tensions will persist. In the immediate term, the government will likely arrest individuals and bolster security in the perimeter of oil facilities to reassure foreign companies of their continued security in the Niger Delta region. 

Recommendations

  1. Travel to Abuja, Lagos, and Port Harcourt can continue while exercising increased vigilance and adhering to stringent security precautions regarding criminal and security threats.
  2. Those operating or residing in Nigeria, particularly high-profile individuals, are advised to obtain properly vetted security personnel given the high risk of kidnapping.
  3. Obtain a security escort for any overland travel in Nigeria given the frequency of highway robbery and abduction.
COUNTRY RISK LEVEL High
AFFECTED AREA Omoku, Rivers State, Nigeria
INCIDENT RISK LEVEL Medium
STRENGTH OF SOURCE Credible

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What’s better, facing disaster or avoiding it altogether? MAX Security Solutions is a leading player in comprehensive security and risk management solutions.