A militant group waging war on Nigeria’s oil sector said U.S. President-elect Donald Trump can help eradicate what it sees as Islamic fundamentalists in power.
Trump was confirmed to have passed the threshold in the Electoral College early Wednesday to clear his path to the White House, succeeding President Barack Obama. The real estate mogul’s path to power came in part through pro-oil and nationalist rhetoric, which included a tough line on Muslims.
The Niger Delta Avengers, a group that surfaced in early 2016 to wage war on the Nigerian oil sector, said a President Trump offered hope for distribution of Nigerian oil wealth.
“Your hard fought victory against world establishments is hope for we the over thirty million oppressed minorities of the Niger Delta, that have being continuously raped and economically colonized because of our God-given resources over last six decades, by the Nigerian state and Islamic fundamentalists in power,” spokesman Mudoch Agbinibo said in a statement.
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.
Agbinibo said Trump could usher in a “new perfect economic order” as it relates to Nigeria, erasing support from Washington the NDA said was manipulating Buhari, who the group said was a “clueless puppet.”
Meeting with the Nigerian president in early 2016, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry called on Buhari to work to improve government transparency and accountability. Transparency International last year ranked Nigeria as one of the more corrupt powers in the world.
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.
Never serving in government, Trump’s foreign policy agenda is unclear, though he has offered more inward-looking proposals from the campaign trail.