Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) on Saturday night, has finally agreed to stop blowing up oil pipelines in the Niger Delta region.
The militant group said its decision was in deference to pleas by Niger Delta monarchs and leaders and in support of “genuine Niger Delta stakeholders conference to engage the Federal Government” on the issues affecting the oil-rich region.
Spokesperson for the group, self-styled Brigadier Gen Mudoch Agbinibo, in an exclusive electronic mail to SUNDAY VANGUARD inquiry, said: “The struggle has always been a pan-Niger Delta one. We also know the anti-Niger Delta elements are using some disorganised characters from the region to scuttle the efforts to restore the essence of our humanity: Resource control and self-determination.
“But we promise to fight more for the Niger Delta, if this opportunity fails. Therefore, we will give our Niger Delta elders and genuine stakeholders that tacit support to go to the dialogue table with government and the multinational oil corporations whenever the enabling environment prevails.
“We are going to support any collective/negotiation team emerging from Chief (Dr.) Papa Edwin Kiagbodo Clark, Niger Delta elders and genuine stakeholders’ conference to engage the Federal Government of Nigeria.”
The group welcomed the involvement of representatives from the home countries of the multinational oil corporations operating in the country and neutral international mediators in the conference “that will be focused on achieving the short, medium and long-term frameworks and objectives to de-escalating conflicts in the Niger Delta.”
The Avengers went on: “Most of the frameworks and objectives are clearly stated in various reports, declarations and recommendations of the likes of the Sir Henry Willinks minority rights reports of pre-independence Nigeria (1957-8), The Kaiama Declaration document, The General Alexander Ogomudia report, The Leedum Mittee headed, Niger Delta Technical Committee report and restructuring to fiscal federalism.
“We have resolved to reject any idea of the peace of our times; we want the peace with honor this time around! Our advice to our Niger Delta elders and genuine stakeholders is that, whenever this inhuman project called Nigeria and her government is ready for dialogue/negotiations with them, this mandate should be treated with that care as driving a vehicle like that of a truck laden with fire.
“We are going to continue the observation of our unannounced cessation of hostilities in the Niger Delta against all interest of the multinational oil corporations. But we will continuously adopt our asymmetric warfare during this period if the Nigerian government and the ruling political APC continues to use security agencies/agents, formations and politicians to arrest, intimidate, invade and harass innocent citizens, suspected NDA members and invade especially Ijaw communities.”
The group warned those using what it described as rogue platforms to inform their “paymasters that the days of doom are here.”
It said: “Those who sold and bought up interests from around the corridors of power cannot arm-twist the NDA with bandits, drug addicts, illegal bunkerers, bank robbers and disorganised characters to derail the Niger Delta struggle.”
Meanwhile, another group, which calls itself the Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders, NDRC, warned that if President Muhammadu Buhari defied the monarchs and elders of the region, who have joined forces under one platform to end the crisis, they would blow up the remaining five export terminals in the country.
Spokesperson for the NDRC, W O I Izon-Ebi, in a statement, yesterday, said the group, in solidarity with NDA had resolved to “adhere to the genuine negotiation of the Niger Delta elders, otherwise it will lead the attack for the total destruction of the remaining five Export Terminals.”