The Niger Delta Avengers on Friday replied President Muhammadu Buhari over his claim that the Federal Government was already holding talks with militants for a possible dialogue.
The Niger Delta Avengers had claimed responsibilities for series of attacks on oil facilities across the region in recent times. Buhari had said on Thursday at a farewell audience with the outgoing Ambassador to Germany, Mr. Michael Zinner, that the government was holding talks with militants through oil companies.
But a statement by the spokesperson for the Niger Delta Avengers, Mudoch Agbinibo, dismissed the President’s claim. The statement said they (avengers) were not aware of any ongoing peace talks.
It reiterated that for the group to hold any peace talks with the Federal Government, it will entail the involvement of the international community.
The statement read, “Our attention has been drawn to a report that the President is in touch with Niger Delta agitators, including the Niger Delta Avengers, but the truth is that we are not aware of any peace talk.
“If there is any such peace talk, it means the President is talking to the Federal Government’s mercenaries set to disturb the genuine struggle of the agitators.
“President Buhari-led government is not sincere to the Nigeria people and their foreign allies.
“If we are to engage in any peace talk we made it clear that the international community must be part of it. The President knows our demands. So, they should stop deceiving the international oil companies, the general public and the international community.”
This is just as the Ijaw Youth Council flayed Buhari for claiming that oil multinationals were spearheading negotiation with the Niger Delta Avengers.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Mr. Eric Omare, IYC said such an utterance by the President showed lack of seriousness by the current administration to end attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region.
Omare said, “President Buhari and the Federal Government should stop deceiving Nigerians and the international community about talks with Niger Delta militants on how to stop attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region.
“It is highly ridiculous and laughable for President Buhari to say that his government is negotiating with Niger Delta militants through oil companies and law enforcement agencies.”
He said the President’s claim was embarrassing, adding that what “is happening in the Niger Delta is beyond what oil companies and security authority without government direct involvement can handle”
Omare said, “Only a sincere and holistic dialogue with the people aimed at addressing the remote causes of recurrent militancy can bring permanent peace to the Niger Delta region. This can only happen when Buhari comes to the negotiation table.”