ABUJA, Nigeria, Sept. 26 (UPI) -- A militant group in the oil-rich Niger Delta region of Nigeria said it was answering statements from Abuja on mediation by bombing a main oil export pipeline.
A group calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers said it hit an oil export pipeline carrying Nigeria's benchmark grade Bonny Light. The group said the action, ending a brief summer truce, is in response to what it said was the "over-dramatization" of the issue by the Nigerian government.
"The world is watching, time is running against the Nigerian state; while we were promised that the concerns of Niger Delta will be addresses once a truce is declared, the activities of the government and her agents are not assuring enough, there has been no progress and no breakthrough," the group said in a statement.
The group emerged earlier this year and was one of the more active militant groups waging war on energy interests in the oil-rich Niger Delta region. The NDA accuses the government of Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari of favoring oil and gas interests over the interests of the people in the Niger Delta and its campaign has been blamed for pushing total Nigerian crude oil production to a 30-year low this year.
The International Monetary Fund said the downturn in the Nigerian economy was a primary contributor to contraction in Sub-Saharan Africa, adding the situation in Nigeria, the region's largest economy, was particularly difficult.
One key reason for the Nigerian woes, IMF economists said, was the disruption to oil operations in the Niger Delta.
Slipping into a formal recession in late August, the Nigerian government said the contribution of oil to economic growth slipped slightly more than 2 percent.
The government's Bureau of Statistics said the economy, measured by gross domestic product, declined 2.06 percent year-on-year, lower by 1.7 percentage points from the previous quarter and 4.4 percent lower from the same time in 2015.
The militant group said it was still in favor of dialogue.