Less than two hours after the news of its decision to enter into dialogue with Federal Government went viral, Niger Delta Avengers on Wednesday disowned a statement to the effect.
The rebuttal was sequel to a statement released earlier by a purported spokesman for the Dialogue Group, one Mr. Ballantyne Agiri, which said that the group had agreed to renounce its violent approach to resolving the under-development of the oil-rich region.
Agiri, in the controversial statement had said that the NDA had constituted a contact and dialogue group to engage the Federal Government in dialogue as part of the initiatives to resolve the crisis, adding that the group was determined to come out with results that would yield lasting peace, equity, justice and harmony among all ethnic nationalities in Nigeria.
But the Avengers on Wednesday said there was no deal with the Federal Government even as it dismissed the said Agiri and the contact group as impostors.
According to the new statement by the avengers, “We are not ready for any negotiation or dialogue with the federal government”, the group said, warning the said contact group members to stop deceiving the public.
“Who is Mr Ballantyne Agiri, the acclaimed dialogue group spokesman?”, the NDA asked. “We don’t know you, and please stop fooling the general public”, it added.
But Agiri had said in his public statement, “The body (NDA) has collectively and willingly agreed to heed the clarion call of eminent Nigerians and international community to dialogue with the Federal Government’’.
The purported contact group’s spokesman also urged Nigerians and the international community to follow developments on the issue closely and watch out for which side would violate the terms, rules and spirit of the dialogue.
“The Federal Government should from the inception of the dialogue rule out from the agenda any monthly monetary inducement or stipend for the NDA.
“The Federal Government should be ready for structural changes that should be human and development-oriented.
“Members of the avengers’ group (who will participate in the dialogue) have already been selected, each based on his integrity, forthrightness, honesty and life track records.
“The names of members of the group for now shall not be made public for personal reasons until they begin functioning in few days ahead,’’ Agiri had said.