*Otuaro committee makes inroad
*MEND not part of renewed hostilities – Jomo Gbomo
By Emma Amaize, Regional Editor, South-South and Perez Brisibe
THE leadership of the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, the militant group which has claimed responsibility for recent attacks on oil and gas installations in Niger Delta region, was believed to be evaluating, weekend, the overtures from the Delta State Government’s Advocacy Committee, headed by the deputy governor, Mr. Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, to stop further attacks.
Sunday Vanguard learned that though distrustful of government’s real intention, the militant group had been monitoring the utterances and body language of the deputy governor and members of his committee since they ventured into the creeks in the last one week.
Otuaro committee had not made any formal contact with the Avengers because the members have remained mysterious, but the intelligence command of the NDA, said to be keeping a tab not just on the team but also the Joint Task Force, JTF, in the Niger Delta and other government agencies, has reportedly given a preliminary report on its findings.
“The militants are considering whether to heed the appeal by the deputy governor to cease further vandalisation of pipelines and give his committee a chance to open a window for dialogue with the appropriate authorities or otherwise”, source told Sunday Vanguard.
“They also want to know if his boss, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, just set up the committee or he has the blessing of President Muhammadu Buhari on what he is doing. They noted that the National Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brigadier General Paul Boroh (retd.), reneged on his decision to follow the Otuaro committee to the creeks and would want to know what is amiss.”