Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Militancy: FG Not In Talks With Niger Delta Militants —Tabai

Jude Tabai, a key actor in the Niger Delta region, has casted doubts in the ongoing negotiation between the federal government and militants from the region, saying he was unaware of any discussion between both parties.

The claim by Tabai, who described himself as a major stakeholder in the Niger Delta crisis, ran contrary to the position of President Muhammadu Buhari last week, that the government was discussing Niger Delta peace with militants.

Tabai, who led Sports and Youths Development Minister, Solomon Lalong, to a failed peace parley with Niger Delta Avengers lately, said that the government might have been discussing with fifth columnists, who were merely keen on reaping pecuniary gains, adding that there was no credible dialogue currently going on between the government and the real ‘stakeholders’ in the Niger Delta crisis.

An Ijaw leader who spoke on condition of anonymity to our reporter on phone lamented: “It is unfortunate that they have penetrated our boys with money and they are now using them to fight themselves. This is bad for the struggle.”

Spokesperson of NDA, self-styled Brig-General Mudoch Agbinibo, had told Vanguard that the group was intact and in a subsequent statement, accused a top government official, a former governor and ex-militant leaders hiding under the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, of announcing the purported split.

“It is quite unfortunate that Cynthia Whyte and Jomo Gbomo of defunct Joint Revolutionary Council and MEND, respectively are the spokespersons of the Nigerian intelligentsia community because of some political interest and a government that has abdicated power to clansmen and tribal lords.

“The fact checks about Cynthia Whyte and her sponsors should be laid bare before the public now that the Nigerian security and intelligent community have turned the Niger Delta genuine struggle to a tool of political patronage and money making machine for miscreants and conflict merchants,” NDA said.

Similarly, the Adaka Boro Avengers, ADA, which recently dumped its threat to declare a Republic of Niger Delta, yesterday, said that President Buhari was not ready for dialogue as it ordered oil companies to stop further repairs on pipelines and vandalised oil installations in their own interest.

Meanwhile, Delta activist and Itsekiri leader, Chief Ayiri Emami, yesterday, urged President Buhari to investigate the 22 alleged sponsors, members and sympathizers of the Avengers, revealed on Saturday by a splinter faction, RNDA.

The All Progressives Congress, APC, stalwart in Delta State, in a statement, said: “The revelation by the splinter group of Avengers about the sponsors of NDA has vindicated my earlier position that some corrupt politicians running away from justice are the brains behind the criminal group.

“Nigerians should not take the report by the online medium lightly and President Buhari should ensure that the fresh revelation is properly investigated with a view to bringing all those behind the economic and political sabotage to book.”

Meanwhile, national president of Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, Mr. Udengs Eradiri, who RNDA listed as one of the operatives of Avengers, reacted yesterday, saying: “I have no business whatsoever with the Niger Delta Avengers. I am the President of IYC, the largest youth organisation in the Niger Delta region and not spokesman of Avengers.”

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