Avengers Declares Ceasfire, Give Conditions For Talks With Federal Government

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The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) have pledged to lay down their weapons and resume talks with the federal government after months of attacks on the country’s oil and gas infrastructure that have crippled the economy.

The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) have pledged to lay down their weapons and resume talks with the federal government after months of attacks on the country’s oil and gas infrastructure that have crippled the economy.

The factionalised militant group also issued conditions under which it can enter into negotiations with the federal government.

In a message posted on the group’s website late on Saturday, the NDA said it would “observe a cessation of hostilities” in the Niger delta.

It also said it would support any effort to negotiate with “the federal government of Nigeria, representatives from the home countries of all multinational oil corporations and neutral international mediators.”

There have been unconfirmed reports for several weeks of talks under way between Abuja and the NDA, but the rebel group never publicly acknowledged that it was engaged in negotiations.

But in its latest statement the NDA through its spokesman, Mudoch Agbinibo, indicated its readiness to dialogue through a negotiation team led by Edwin Clark, prominent Niger Delta leader.

A statement posted on the website of the Avengers, said: “The struggle has always being a Pan-Niger Delta one, we only know the anti Niger Delta elements are using some disorganized characters from the region to scuttle all effort to restore the essence of our humanity; resources control and self-determination.

“We are going to support any collective/negotiation team emerging from the Chief (Dr.) Papa Edwin Kiagbodo Clark Niger Delta elders and genuine stakeholders conference to engage with the federal government of Nigeria, representatives from the home countries of all multinational Oil Corporations and neutral international mediators that will be focused on achieving the short, medium and long term frameworks and objectives to de-escalating conflicts in the Niger Delta.

“Most of the frameworks and objectives are clearly stated in various reports, declarations and recommendations of the likes of the Sir Henry Willinks minority rights reports of pre-independence Nigeria (1957-8), The Kaiama Declaration document, The General Alexander Ogomudia report, The Leedum Mittee headed, Niger Delta Technical Committee report and restructuring to fiscal federalism.

“We have resolved to reject any idea of the peace of our times; we want the peace with honor this time around! Our advice to our Niger Delta elders and genuine stakeholders is that, whenever this inhuman project called Nigeria and her government is ready for dialogue/negotiations with them, this mandate should be treated with that care as driving a vehicle like that of a truck laden with fire.

“We are going to continue the observation of our unannounced cessation of hostilities in the Niger Delta against all interest of the Multinational oil Corporations, but we will continuously adopt our asymmetric warfare during this period if, the Nigerian government and the ruling political APC continues to use security agencies/agents, formations and politicians to arrest, intimidate, invade and harass innocent citizens, suspected NDA members and invade especially Ijaw communities.

“We promise to fight more for the Niger Delta, if this opportunity fails. Therefore, we will give our Niger Delta elders and genuine stakeholders that tacit support to the dialogue table with the government and the Multinational oil Corporations whenever the enabling environment prevails.

“We also use this medium to warn those using rogue platforms like the defunct so-called MEND, RNDA- Cynthia Whyte especially Charles Okah who is franchising these internet based banditry from his prison cell, through Victor Ebikabowei Ben (Boyloaf), Timipre Silva, Selekaye Ebikabowei, Ayirimi Emani, Michael Johnny, Governor Adams Oshiomole to please inform those their paymasters that the days of doom are here. That those sold and bought up interests from around the corridors of power cannot arm-twist the NDA with bandits, drug addicts, illegal bunkerers, bank robbers and disorganized characters to derail the Niger Delta struggle.”

The Ijaw ethnic people have long dominated oil rebel groups operating in the area, though experts say militants from other communities have also set up new branches.

Since the start of the year, the NDA has carried out a string of devastating attacks on Nigeria’s oil pipelines and facilities.

Oil majors including Shell, Exxon, Chevron, Eni and the state-run oil group NNPC have all been targeted this year.

The attacks have reduced Nigeria’s output by a third, hammering government revenue at a time of low global oil prices.

The oil sector accounts for 90 percent of the nation’s foreign exchange earnings and 70 percent of government revenue.

The NDA has claimed to seek a fairer share of Nigeria’s oil wealth for residents of the region as well as self-determination and political autonomy.

Source: Leadership NG.


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