The Federal Government has been advised to suspend its plan to dialogue with the new militant group, Niger Delta Avengers in the Niger Delta region to prevent upsurge of such groups.
National President, National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators, NCNDE-A , Israel Akpodoro yesterday, in Abuja stated that any effort to dialogue with the militants would give rise to more troublesome groups.
Akpodoro stated that the new militant groups, including the Egbesu Water Lions had engaged in renewed hostilities among which were attacks on the nation’s oil pipelines.
He said contrary to advise by the elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark, who advised the President Muhammadu Buhari to meet with the militants on peaceful agreement, Clark should make it a responsibility to persuade the militants to sheath their sword and embrace peace.
He added that the statesman should justify his advise by producing Government Ekpemupolo, a.k.a. Tompolo, who had been summoned severally by the federal government.
The ex-militant alleged that new agitators were drawn from the league of ex-militants, who were on the payroll of the amnesty programme.
He questioned how long the federal government will continue to declare amnesty in the region, amidst prevailing economic situation.
“The neo militant groups were directly under the command of accused Government Ekpemupolo, a.k.a. Tompolo, so those calling for dialogue should produce him to the FG before having the moral rectitude to call for dialogue.
“Acting like father to economic saboteurs and forming protective ring around criminals in the region won’t do us any good at this critical period of our nationhood. The call by Chief E.K.Clark, to say the least came as a rude shock and unbecoming of a man who would always want criminals of Ijaw extraction protected in the name of calls for dialogue.
“Nigerians would want to know from Chief Clark who are the avengers? Who are the sponsors and what are they avenging at this critical period in our nationhood?
“Hiding under the cloak of dialogue to part criminals on the back by giving them amnesty is a dubious thing to ask for. How many times have youth in Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Imo State…blown up pipelines to stampede federal government into granting them amnesty? The FG should dialogue, the army should go all out for these crooks who festers on cheap and free money.” he stated.
Akpodoro described the attackers of oil pipelines as demagogues and evil doers, who are out to foment trouble to stampede the federal government into paying them amnesty.
However, the pro Buhari ex-militant leader said the call for dialogue by some Ijaw leaders were ploy to armstwist the federal government into being cowed by the Ijaw youths.
He added that such calls should be ignored in the interest of peace and tranquillity in the region.