The reported talks with militants as reported by the Federal government has been denied by the Niger Delta Avengers.
NDA on Wednesday, August 17, denied agreeing to enter into dialogue with the federal government for a possible ceasefire in the region. The militant group which has claimed responsibility for major attacks on oil facilities in the region in recent times also denied knowing the self-acclaimed spokesman for the dialogue group, Mr Ballantyne Agiri. Agiri had in a statement issued on Wednesday in Abuja claimed that the group had agreed to enter dialogue with the FG.
But the spokesman for the group, Mudoch Agbinibo, while replying to an enquiry by our correspondent, dismissed the idea saying there was no iota of truth in Agiri’s claim. It stressed that “we are not going into any peace or dialogue talk.” It added, “That report is not from us. We are not in any form of dialogue agreement with anybody. It’s like the Government wants to dialogue with themselves.”
The group later went on to their twitter handle, operated by the spokesperson, Agbinibo, to also deny the purported agreement for talks. They also denied knowing the said Agiri, saying “Who is Mr. Ballantyne Agiri the claimed dialogue group spokesman? We don’t know you and please stop fooling the general public. “We are not ready for any negotiation or dialogue with the federal government.” News had broken earlier that the Niger Delta Avengers had finally agreed to dialogue with the President Muhammadu Buhari-led federal government. According to the report, the group which has been terrorising the region by bombing oil and gas pipelines and has vowed to ground oil production, finally said it will listen to what the government has to say.
The Punch reports that Mr Ballantyne Agiri who is the spokesperson of the dialogue group made this known in a statement issued on Wednesday, August 17. Agiri explained that a contact and dialogue group has been established to engage the federal government in meaningful dialogue as part of the initiatives to resolve the crisis. He added that the group “was determined to come out with results that would yield lasting peace, equity, justice and harmony among all ethnic nationalities in Nigeria.” “The body has collectively and willingly agreed to heed the clarion call of eminent Nigerians and international community to dialogue with the Federal Government.” He urged Nigerians to follow the development so as to see the group that will violate the terms of the dialogue.