MEND urges Buratai to guard his utterance
Chinedu Eze in Lagos and Sylvester Idowu in Warri
The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) last night accused the federal government of bidding for time with its supposed dialogue with militants to acquire drones to fight its operatives attacking oil facilities in the Niger Delta region.
The accusation came just as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) yesterday reacted to the statement credited to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. General Tukur Buratai who was quoted as saying that the Nigerian Army was getting ready to battle the Niger Delta militants should the current negotiation going on between the people of the region and the federal government fail, describing such statement as insensitive.
The unrelenting militant group, claiming responsibilities for strings of destructions of oil pipelines in the region alleged that the drones were being purchased from the United States of America and were being expected by the end of August.
According to a statement signed by its spokesperson, Mudoch Agbinibo, the group noted that the federal government was not serious about any dialogue but made it looked as if it was the NDA that was not disposed to talks.
“They are not serious about any dialogue and made it seems the NDA are the ones not ready for dialogue,” it added.
The group said its intelligence agency had established that the said peace talk or dialogue was a delay tactic for the purchase of the drones.
“The NDA intelligence agency gathered that the said peace talk or dialogue by the federal government is a delay tactic employed by the federal government, to enable their purchased drones that are said to arrive latest end of August from the US.
“This whole thing makes us to wonder what kind of country is this? We can all see that President Muhammadu Buhari-led government is fraud. They are not serious about any dialogue and made it seems the NDA are the ones not ready for dialogue,” it stated.
The group however said it was not bothered whether the drones were purchased from Europe and US, noting that it won’t stop it from bringing the nation’s economy to zero.
It declared, “Mr. President you can purchase all the drones in Europe and US. It won’t stop the NDA from bringing the country’s economy to zero.
“The worse you can do is to kill poor innocent people which the military is good at but know the Nigeria economy will suffer. Also noted (sic), you will not be able to export one litre of crude in the Niger Delta”, it added.
NDA advised the federal government to intensify its search for oil exploration in the North-east and forget about that of the Niger Delta region because it won’t export any oil from the region.
“Just intensify the oil exploration in the North-east, as for the ones in the Niger Delta forget about it because the Nigeria government won’t export a drop from our land,” it declared.
Meanwhile, has warned Buratai to guard his utterances to the effect that the Nigerian military authorities would resort to the use of force if dialogue to resolve the current Niger Delta crisis fails.
MEND in a statement made available to THISDAY last night said: “The attention of the MEND has been drawn to a statement made in Port Harcourt on Monday, July 25, 2016 by Buratai to the effect that the Nigerian military authorities will resort to the use of force if dialogue to resolve the current Niger Delta crisis fails.
“MEND hereby makes it clear that Buratai’s statement is insensitive, provocative, unprofessional and prejudicial to the fair outcome of the ongoing preliminary talks regarding the Niger Delta crisis between representatives of oil companies and security agencies, on the one hand; and the MEND, on the other hand,” it said.
It therefore warned the Chief of Army Staff and urged him to guard his utterances, “refrain from making political and inflammatory statements and stick to his primary responsibility.”
MEND also appealed to the people of the region to remain patient with President Buhari administration, pledging it would be able to extract concessions from the administration for the development of the region.
“We use this medium to appeal to the good people of the Niger Delta to remain patient with the Administration of Buhari and keep hope alive as MEND and the Aaron Team 2 Dialogue, Peace and Development Initiative led by Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, and King Alfred Papapreye Diette-Spiff are working assiduously to secure sustainable concessions for the region from the government.
“While MEND have already kick-started the dialogue process with the ongoing preliminary talks, the Aaron Team, made up of distinguished and accomplished personalities from the region, are waiting on the sidelines to conclude the dialogue process,” the militant organisation said.