Again, Niger Delta Coalition Refutes Claims of Dialogue Between Militants, FG

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Chiemelie Ezeobi

Following the statement by the Presidency that they have begun dialogue with the Niger Delta militants, the United Niger Delta Energy Development Security Strategy (UNDEDSS), a coalition for the region, on Monday refuted such claims.

While calling on President Muhammadu Buhari to rise to the occasion, the coalition said while attempts have been made to open negotiation channels, no dialogue has however been truly initiated.

Speaking for the coalition, the Secretary General, Mr. Tony Ipriye Uranta, said they have noted with dismay the FG’s claims that they have engaged the real militants in dialogue.

He also debunked claims by the FG that it has commenced talk with Niger Delta militants in order to address the restiveness in the area, adding that the President should do the ideal rather than negotiating with fake individuals.

He said, “We note with dismay, the insistence by some spokesmen of the Federal Government of Nigeria that “Dialogue” is ongoing with the “real militants” of the Niger Delta.

“We hope the FGN is not being fooled by 419 scoundrels and impostors, because UNDEDSS can affirm, unequivocally, that, whilst attempts are being robustly made to open negotiation channels, no “Dialogue” has truly commenced between the FGN and armed actors like the Niger Delta Avengers.

“The Presidency is well aware of the conditions that these key players regard as prerequisite to “Dialogue” commencing.

“They are calling on Mr. President, himself, to directly assure the nation that the National Maritime University remains on course; that he has appointed a Special Adviser on Niger Delta Affairs to drive the 2009 Yaradua Template, which had five sub-committees headed by the Ministers of Petroleum and Works, amongst others.
“That safe passage will be guaranteed all delegates to the proposed ‘Niger Delta Peace and Prosperity Talks’, which Mr. President would convene as soon as all parties are agreed; and, that relevant International diplomats will be present at the said talks.

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