By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South & Perez Brisibe
THE Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, this morning, responded to a reported split of the group, saying it was untrue. The militant group in a retort at 8.21 am to Vanguard inquiry, said: “The NDA is too busy at the moment to be distracted by people like Jude Kekyll, he is not part of us and cannot be part of us. All our operatives are united and we are all together.”
A group, Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, RNDA, broke out of the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, on Friday, and threatened to expose the identities of NDA fighters and their sponsors if the militant group does not stop bombing of pipelines.
The breakaway faction in a statement by Cynthia Whyte, said it dumped the NDA because of the recent personal appeal of former President Goodluck Jonathan, peace efforts of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, guilt feelings over the damage wrecked on the environment and President Muhammadu Buhari’s demonstrated political will to clean up the environment.
“We have decided to join the MEND Aaron Team 2 peace initiative through the clearing house of Niger Delta Dialogue and Contact Group (NDDCG) headed by HRH King Alfred Diette-Spiff,” the group said.
It asserted: “We will also cooperate with the government by exposing the identities of our comrades, who remain stubborn in their insistence to continue attacks. For example, it will shock the nation to know the Jekyll and Hyde personality behind the pseudonym ‘Brigadier General Murdoch Agbinibo’ and our sponsors.”
NDA should table conditions for dialogue
Meanwhile, the Ijaw People Development Initiative, IPDI, yesterday, urged NDA to come out with its preliminary conditions for dialogue just as it condemned the threat by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, to join forces with government to deal with the militant group.
IPDI in a statement by the national president, Austin Ozobo, said: “Our attention has been drawn to the preliminary conditions for dialogue and purported threat to smoke out Niger Delta Avengers ,NDA, by the defunct Movement For the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND, if NDA fails to embrace the proposed dialogue with federal government.”
“Our preliminary study of the above shows that MEND preliminary conditions and threat to join government to smoke out NDA if they fail to embrace dialogue falls below expectation.
“It is a plot to rob the region of their genuine struggle as they failed to draw all inclusive preliminary demands such as immediate commencement of the Nigerian Maritime University, Okerenkoko, reopening of NIMASA Technical College, Okoloba, Delta state and acceptance to conduct referendum.
“It did also include release of alleged NDA members, including Oporoza 10 youths, agreement not to harass and arrest members of NDA if they come out, seizure of further military operations and arrests pending the final resolution of the dialogue, agreement to revoke oil blocs and greement to implement Niger Delta Development blue print ,” it said.
IPDI asserted: “Though, we are not against the release of Henry Okah, Charles Okah, Edmund Ebiware, and others but since they were not arrested in active struggle, it is wrong to have use their release as a preliminary conditions to begin dialogue of Niger Delta demands of resource control and self-determination.”
“If MEND is not fighting for its affairs, why did it fail to include revitalization of seaports in Niger Delta and relocation of headquarters of oil companies to the region?
“It is also wrong for MEND to threaten to join force with Nigeria military to fish or smoke out Niger Delta Avengers if they fail to yield to its line of dialogue. This exposes the shallow interest of miscreants under the banner of defunct MEND,” it added.
“This further shows that they are mostly interested on the release of their members, who are currently undergoing detention. MEND definition of the current struggle is an attempt to undermine the evergreen struggle for better Niger Delta region. It is an attempt to hijack the efforts of NDA to free their members arrested on issues not connected with the struggle.
“Why MEND decided to condemn NDA to the firing squad and exonerate their members who were arrested and detained on account of their personal deals and why it feels that they are better than NDA members beat imagination. How did MEND expect genuine people and NDA to queue behind their self-centered preliminary conditions for dialogue when such preliminary demands do not guarantee the future of the region? The group stated.
It added: “MEND should review its preliminary conditions for the proposed dialogue, one thing MEND should understand is that government may decide to accept their shallow and selfish preliminary conditions, but what would they do if government fails to agree on the real demands of the region on the course of the dialogue.” “MEND is doing another injustice to the region. You do not just make demands, you must consult resources persons, you must consider tomorrow when making preliminary demands. MEND preliminary conditions fall short of expectation and it does not represent the general interest of Niger Delta people,” IPDI said.