We Are Not in Talk with Your Government, Avengers Tell Buhari

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  •  IYC not aware of discussion with militants  
  • Tompolo writes Buhari, laments alleged harassment of family, associates

By Sylvester Idowu in Warri

Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) yesterday said it was not in talk with President Muhammadu Buhari over the crisis in the region and urged the president to “stop misinforming Nigerians and the international community” about his administration’s alleged dialogue with its members.

On the same day, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) also said Buhari was “misleading Nigerians and the international community” about dialogue with Niger Delta militants, while wanted ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo (Tompolo) complained bitterly over the “continuous harassment and intimidation of his family members and associates by security agencies.”

The NDA’s denial was in response to statement by President Buhari on Thursday that his government was talking to the militants in the region in order to end pipeline vandalism and violence in the Niger Delta.

But the militant group, in a statement signed by its spokesman, Mudoch Agbinibo, said there was not such meeting with the federal government.

It noted that if there was any such meeting, “it means that the President is talking to mercenaries set to disturb the genuine struggle of the agitators.”

The statement reads: “Our attention has been drawn to media report that the President is in touch with Niger Delta agitators including the Niger Delta Avengers but the truth is that we are not aware of any peace talk.

“Buhari-led government is not sincere to the Nigeria people and their foreign allies.

“If we are to engage in any peace talk, we made it clear that the international community must be part of it. The President knows our demands. So, they should stop deceiving the international oil companies, the general public and the international community.”

IYC: Buhari not in talks with militants…

In a related development, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) said Buhari was deceiving Nigerians and the international community about being in talks with the Niger Delta militants.

IYC’s spokesman, Eric Omare, said it was ridiculous and laughable for the President to claim the government was in talks with the militants through the IOCs.

The IYC said the action of the government amounted to surrendering the sovereignty of Nigeria to IOCs.

“The point must be made that the issues at stake are completely beyond the capacity of oil companies to resolve. For the umpteenth time, the IYC call on the aides and the advisers to Buhari to properly advise him on how to solve the current hostilities in the Niger Delta region and equally display a determination to resolve the problem as his predecessors did.

“Only a sincere and holistic dialogue with the people of the Niger Delta region, aimed at addressing the remote causes of recurrent militancy can bring permanent peace to the Niger Delta region.

“This can only happen when President Buhari as the political leader of Nigeria come down to the negotiation table,” said IYC.