From: Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
Two Niger Delta groups, the Pan Niger Delta Youth Leadership Forum (PANDLEAF), and the Coalition of Niger Delta Voices (CNDV) have offered reasons why the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) are no longer interested in the dialogue with the Federal Government.
According to the groups, NDA decided to withdraw from the ceasefire deal it entered with the Federal Government and threatened to bomb oil pipelines in the region because the Federal Government has consistently failed to implement agreements to pave way for total peace in the troubled region.
The groups noted that while the best option for the militants is dialogue, the Federal Government and President Buhari should stop rhetoric and focus on implementing the agreements reached with the people of the region on infrastructural development.
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PANDLEAF, in a statement issued after an exhaustive session of all stake holders, opinion leaders, States and National Executive Council members by its President, Mr Richard Akinaka, Secretary, Hon. Ubok-Obong Umoh and Spokesman, Comrade Success Jack stated that though they are not in support of threats by the NDA, there is need for political leaders at the centre to create synergies that would unleash development in the region.
“We strongly condemn the renewed call for hostilities by the Niger Delta Avengers since there was no basis for it; rather, they should redirect their energy, love and zeal for the region to development based issues. We strongly believe that, the time for armed struggle is over. Life is in phases and so should our struggles. We must be able to advance our agitation beyond that to the high grounds of intellectual and constructive engagement” PANDLEAF stated.
In a separate statement, a Peace Advocacy group known as Coalition of Niger Delta Voices (CNDV) based in Warri, Delta state asked President Muhammadu Buhari to review the present administration’s strategy on the resolution of the crisis in the region.
The CNDV in a statement signed by its Coordinator, Frank Ekpemupolo and spokesperson, Williams Welemu advice President Muhammadu Buhari and his handlers to talk less and swing into action as Nigerians are tired of their promises as if they are still campaigning for elections.
“For instance, this administration has made so many promises for the Niger Delta region that is yet to fulfil. Whereas it is the same region the administration is getting money to fund projects all over the country. The most annoying one is the funding of the only higher learning institution in the coastal area of the region, the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, which the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo promised that will start the 2017/2018 academic session is yet to receive the paltry sum of two billion naira it promised since the beginning of this year” they said.
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