Breaking: Niger Delta Avengers Softens, Says Ready to Talk with FG

By Soni Daniel,

After a sustained bombing of oil facilities reducing Nigeria’s oil output and revenue, the Niger Delta Avengers has said that it is now willing to dialogue with the Federal Government. As a prelude to the talks and an expression of readiness to lay down arms and embrace peace, the NDA, Wednesday, raised what it calls “Contact and Dialogue Team headed by a former Director of Youth Development in the Niger Delta Commission, Mr. Ballantyne Agiri, to act as its spokesman.

Agiri in a statement he personally signed and sent to Vanguard in Abuja on Wednesday, said that the militant group was serious about engaging the Federal Government and end the cycle of violence and oil disruption in the Niger Delta.

The former director disclosed that NDA would now be asking the Federal Government to take up the development of the Niger Delta with more seriousness, adding that it was determined to achieve results that would yield lasting peace, equity, justice and harmony among all ethnic nationalities in Nigeria. Agiri said:

“The body has collectively and willingly agreed to heed the clarion call of eminent Nigerians and international community to dialogue with the Federal Government.

“The federal government should from the inception of the dialogue rule out from the agenda any monthly monetary inducement or stipend for the NDA.

“The federal government should be ready for structural changes that should be human and development oriented.

“Members of the avengers’ group (who will participate in the dialogue) have already been selected, each based on his integrity, forthrightness, honesty and life track records.

“The names of members of the group for now shall not be made public for personal reasons until they begin functioning in few days ahead.”

He urged Nigerians and the international community to follow the event and watch out which side would default in terms of abiding by the rules and spirit of the dialogue. NDA has however been split into factions, thereby weakening its agenda to dry up Niger Delta oil and cause hardship for the Buhari administration.

Miffed by the challenge, the Nigerian Army has however moved its troops into the region to keep the peace and protect critical oil assets, which fetch the nation its major revenue.

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