Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, yesterday, served a fresh warning to the Federal Government that it would resume bombing of oil facilities if government made any further mistake to enter into negotiation with selfish leaders in the region that represented themselves instead of the interest of the people.
This came as Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, endorsed the October 31 meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and the Pan-Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, aimed at finding solutions to the current Niger Delta crisis. But a group, Urhobo Common Cause, UCC, in Delta State, led by Henry Obukohwo Tafri, rejected the representation of PANDEF, led by the former Federal Commissioner for Information, Chief Edwin Clark, saying it was concerned about alleged “internal colonialism perpetrated by the leadership of Chief Clark.”
The Avengers in a statement accused some unnamed selfish but vociferous Niger Delta leaders and groups of appropriating the overall interest of the region to themselves and cronies while the majority wallow in penury.
A spokesman for the NDA, who gave his name as Col. Rightman Hudson Opukurowari, warned that any attempt by the government to engage in any form of dialogue with Niger Delta leaders who had allegedly hijacked the commonwealth of the people for their selfish interest, would be resisted.
Opukurowari said: “Since we had agreed to suspend bombing oil facilities and enter into genuine dialogue with the government, the administration has not shown any seriousness in talking to the right set of people to move the peace process forward.
Two months after the ceasefire, it has become clear to the world that this government has not been sincere and serious in meeting the simple demands of the people to put in place a concrete plan of transforming the landscape and giving us any sense of hope despite our critical contribution to the commonwealth of the nation.
“From the way the government is going after we had suspended bombings, it is clear to the world that the Federal Government is not ready to make peace with us as earlier promised and we are under pressure to resume our attacks. It is obvious that the Muhammadu Buhari administration has rather chosen to be nonchalant to the dialogue and has deliberately decided to invite only their political friends for a dinner in the name of dialogue, by their own selective measures, thereby ignoring the chance for real peace and dialogue with the appropriate persons and groups.
“The Government is trying to avoid a holistic approach to addressing the real issues affecting us and finding solutions to them but merely taking time off to engage those we see as “Niger Delta Vultures” sitting in Abuja with their sponsors, taking credit for our genuine agitations.
We have watched and observed that with the body language of the President and the composition of the so-called dialogue group, no meaningful solution will be proffered unless the government invites all concerned and genuine individuals and groups for the purpose of finding a lasting solution to the crisis in the region.
“We hereby warn that any action taken by the government to provoke us to resume hostilities would be more brutal than before until we enter the promised land. “We are concerned because these same persons invited for the scheduled dialogue have become Federal Government dialogue contractors and they do not represent the interest of the generality of the people.”