Niger Delta militants on Sunday called for a Referendum on breaking up the Nigerian federation.
The Niger Delta Avengers group posted a map on social media suggesting that the West African country could divide into five countries.
Analysts had predicted that the stunning result of the British referendum to leave the EU would encourage separatists in Nigeria. Nigeria’s SBM Intelligence warned in an analysis of the fallout from the British vote.
“President (Muhammadu) Buhari should call for a referendum to enable every Nigerian to vote if they want to stay as Nigerians or not, just like what David Cameron of Great Britain did,” the Avengers posted on Twitter.”
The Avengers who are based in the southern Niger Delta have formed alliance with separatist groups from the southeast, and said they, too, might demand a separate state. Nigeria suffered a civil war from 1965 to 1970 that killed a million people after the Igbo declared an independent state of Biafra.
All Nigeria’s oil production is in the Niger Delta and offshore of the southern region. Oil militants and non-violent activists have been demanding a greater share of the wealth from oil, an industry that has massively polluted their lands and destroyed the livelihoods of communities that rely on fishing and agriculture.
Oil provides 70 percent of the federal government’s revenue. Finance Minister Kemi Adeosun said the Avenger’s attacks on oil facilities cost the government nearly $60 million in May. The attacks have stopped production at two of Nigeria’s five oil refineries, disrupted supplies from two export terminals and made buyers cautious of Nigerian oil.