Avengers deny nominating Soyinka for talks with FG

MEMBERS of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) have chided critics of Nobel laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, over his demand for restructuring and call for President Muhammadu Buhari to accede to their requests.

The group, in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Brigadier-General Mudoch Agbinibo and posted on its website late Saturday, also reiterated its readiness to dialogue with the Federal Government whenever it showed the green light.

“The High Command of the Niger Delta Avengers are bothered again about the insensitivity to the genuine plight of the Niger Delta agitation by every successive government of Nigeria and the present handlers of the All Progressives Congress (APC) government.

“We are amazed that Professor Soyinka has been taken on the jugular by enemies of the Niger Delta because of  his belief that the government of the day should understand the need to restructure and listen to the Niger Delta’s agitation positively.

“That if we, the NDA have named Professor Soyinka and some incredible names to advise and lead any group is the lie of the century.

“They say when a handshake goes beyond the elbow, it has turned to another thing; amazingly, the handwriting are so clear that our noble laureate’s name is going the infamous way, as he is being named an adviser with some unscrupulous characters as Niger Delta Avengers  (NDA) dialogue team with the government of Nigeria,” the group averred.

The militant group slammed the splinter group, describing it as a product of the imagination of political hawks, which have been bought over to destroy and frustrate the Niger Delta struggle.

“Putting records straight, the name/names parading as factions of the Niger Delta Avengers are just the figment of some persons protecting their jobs and are hell-bent on derailing the wheel of progress in the history of Nigeria and the Niger Delta agitation,” it opined.

The group denied having any consultation with Professor Soyinka, let alone asking him to represent it in the proposed dialogue with the Federal Government.

“Our strike teams and command structures have not, at anytime contacted these Nigerians at any time to advise or lead any contact with the government of Buhari on the Niger Delta agitation.

“We have shown our respect and restraints to personalities that have been too fixated to impress Abuja in the name of the Niger Delta struggle since the beginning of “Operation Red Economy” ignorantly or willingly.

“The NDA cannot be teleguided by Mr Charles Okah and Henry Okah from their respective prison cells, using disorganised characters of the APC from the Niger Delta to impress Abuja.

“We are not unaware of the creations of the Nigerian Intelligentsia community and security apparatus to sustain the Niger Delta struggle to bloat their pocket and credibility,” it disclosed.

Meanwhile, the group has reiterated its readiness for dialogue under the leadership of elder statesman, Chief Edwin Clark and his stakeholders’ committee.

“The NDA have unequivocally given our tacit support to the Chief Clark, Niger Delta Elders and Stakeholders conference committee to lead the Pan Niger Delta Negotiations/Dialogue Team, whenever Nigeria shows readiness,” it stated.