Worried members of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), on Sunday, warned President Muhammadu Buhari that the country was running against time over the delay in addressing issues raised in the 16-point demand presented to the president on November 1, by Chief Edwin Clark-led Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).
The group, in a statement issued on its website on Sunday, by its spokesperson, Brigadier General Mudoch Agbinibo, expressed shock over the continuous deployment of military personnel and hardware to invade some communities in the region.
This, it said, was anti-ethical to the spirit of the 16-point demand , accusing the Federal Government of playing the ostrich.
“The everyday deployment of military hardwares, houseboat, personnel etc is a dilemma of government’s insensitivity and incapacity to the legitimate demand by the Niger Delta people since 1994, under late General Sani Abacha.
“The Niger Delta struggle is the people’s project. So, the more groups that are involved, the more the festivity.
There will be no cold war with any group and groupings no matter the circumstances of their emergence and their modus operandi,” the Avengers averred.
The group pleaded with the public for understanding, saying it should not be blamed for the recent resumption of hostilities because government had not halted the harassment and intimidation of innocent people in the creeks.
“Sincerely speaking, the High Command of the Niger Delta Avengers cannot be blamed for the continuous bombing of crude oil export pipelines and other oil installations, since the government has been relentlessly carrying out military build-ups to continuously harass communities and indigenes of the Niger Delta after the November 1 meeting of the PANDEF and President Buhari.
“We see this as a deliberate move by the military to undermine any effort of dialogue and negotiations with the people of the Niger Delta.
“The path to sustain the cessation of hostilities in the region among fighters and structures cannot be achieved overnight, when there are clear cases of deliberate security surge by the Nigerian government.
“We ask for understanding on the side of the PANDEF and the general public.
“It will make a lot of sense on the part of the government of President Buhari to restrain the security agents/agencies from engaging in activities that are inimical to the process, the people and communities of the Niger Delta.
“The idea of communicating with our fathers, leaders and royal fathers under the leadership of Papa Edwin Clark’s PANDEF before acting will only amount to mere propaganda while the head is being cut off.
“We believed that our fathers, leaders and royal fathers are ready to meet the government of Nigeria with representatives of IOCs and the neutral observers, but not with guns, warships and jet fighters terrorising their communities, which, of course, is one of the 16 key-point demands presented to Mr President. So the government should stop the ostrich game,” the group noted.
“Until the burning issues of resources control, fiscal federalism and inclusive development are addressed no force will stop this struggle even with bare hands,”it added.