The Nigerian government has been accused of being insincere and shady in their dealings with militants of the niger Delta.
A popular militant group amongst the many others prowling the creeks, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) made the accusation yesterday while responding to President Buhari’s statements on the widely reported dialogue between the government and Niger Delta leaders.
Last weekend, the president stated that his administrations is working to persuade the leadership of the Niger Delta to settle for an agreement on how to manage Oil resources than resulting to fighting.
But the NDA, who has claimed responsibility for a large number of pipeline vandalisms in the region, expressed complete disappointment at the position of government towards the dialogue, saying the administration was being insincere with issues concerning the Niger Delta.
Spokesman for the Supreme Consultative Council (SCC) of the Eastern and Central Divisions of the NDA, Mr. Ballantyne Agiri, stated that the government was playing ‘politics’ with the dialogue.
President Buhari alone knows those he has been talking with in the Niger Delta. I tell you the truth, there is no sincerity in him on matters concerning the Niger Delta, but politicking to attract public sympathy.
The world will clearly see the day he comes out genuinely to seek dialogue with our people
The president had in October, invited the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PNDF), a group promoted by Chief Edwin Clark and some other Niger Delta leaders, to a meeting in Abuja.
This meeting was to set the table for an acceptable dialogue with the representatives of militant groups.
However, two months after, there has been no further action as the Federal Government has so far failed to set up its own dialogue team to discuss with the team set up by the stakeholders in the Niger Delta.
Indications emerged shortly after the meeting that not much progress would be made as Buhari merely received the PANDEF delegation, but made no commitments to the 16-point demands of the group.
The delegation from the Niger Delta, led by a former Federal Commissioner (minister) of Information, Chief Edwin Clark, had tabled a 16-point demand, which included a review of the ownership of oil blocs to include the states of the Niger Delta.
While receiving the 16-point request presented for negotiation by the Niger Delta leaders, Buhari said he was still expecting reports from officials he had instructed to review the implementation of the amnesty programme to determine where government fell short so that amends can be made.
The president said the service chiefs were putting together their own assessment of the militancy situation, saying “when I have these reports, including this one (just presented), we will revisit the situation (in the region) to ensure that we succeed this time.”
He, however, cautioned the leaders of the Niger Delta that they had more to do than anyone else to bring peace to the region, given the influence they have on militant groups.
A source at the meeting stated that the Niger Delta delegation left the meeting venue downcast as there were no signs that the Federal Government was prepared to entertain any of the items on their shopping list.