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Niger Delta Avengers Accuses Buhari’s Government of Delaying Dialogue To Buy Time To Acquire Drones

 

By Saxone Akhaine (Northern Bureau Chief), Mohammed Abubakar and Otei Oham (Abuja) and Chido Okafor (Warri)   |  

 

• Bayelsa gov Dickson cautions army on use of force
• Okowa seeks better intelligence on tackling militancy

 

The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) has accused the Federal Government of foot-dragging dialogue with militants, in order to execute a devious plot against Niger Delta people.

In a statement on its website, the group said intelligence available to it indicates that proposed dialogue by the Federal Government is a strategy to buy time, while drones (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) from the United States are being expected.

Mudoch Agbinibo, spokesman of the group, which has been bombing the nation’s critical oil infrastructure, said the development “makes us wonder what kind of country this is? We can all see that the President Buhari-led government is a fraud. They are not serious about any dialogue, yet they make it seem the Niger Delta Avengers are the ones not ready.

“Mr. President, you can purchase all the drones in Europe and the United States. They won’t stop the Niger Delta Avengers from bringing the country’s economy to zero. The worse you can do is kill poor, innocent people, which the military is good at. But know that the Nigerian economy will suffer. Note also, you will not be able to export one litre of crude in the Niger Delta. Just intensify oil exploration in the North East. As for the ones in the Niger Delta, forget about it, because the Nigerian government won’t export a drop from our land.”

Meanwhile, Bayelsa State governor, Seriake Dickson, has faulted statement credited to the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, that the military would be compelled to use force, in order to quell militancy by the Niger Delta, if ongoing attempt at dialogue fails.

Speaking with State House correspondents after a private meeting with President Buhari at the Presidential Villa, the governor noted that the threat by the army chief is capable of harming ongoing efforts by government at finding solution to the crisis.

“The military solution, as I have always maintained, is not the right option. We are hopeful that the ongoing discussions will yield desired results. I have always been in support of negotiations, of dialogue as the sustainable way forward. Dialogue will bring out the issues and then we will all unite around these common issues to move our country forward,” said Dickson.

This comes as Delta State governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, called for increased intelligence sharing among security agencies, in order to curb militancy in the region.Okowa, who decried drop in revenue accruing both to the state and the Federation Account, said: “We are worst hit by the present events in the creeks. We pray that these activities of militants stop, so that we can maintain oil production without breaches, as our revenue has dropped drastically.”

The governor spoke, yesterday, in Asaba, the state capital, when he received the Commander of Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie, who led top officers of the multi-service task force on a courtesy call.

Also, member of the House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum (Ibirapa East/Ido Constituency, Oyo State), Sunday Adepoju, said, yesterday, that the current agitation in the region is aimed at attracting the attention of the Federal Government to the plight of the people, urging President Buhari to speed up dialogue.                                    The Guardian

 

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