The Niger Delta Avengers, in a statement on Saturday, warned President Buhari against dealing with “sycophants in his cabinet” if he really wants to achieve peace in the region.
The NDA Spokesperson, Brig.Gen Mudoch Agbinibo, in a statement made available to SUNDAY PUNCH, also challenged Buhari to visit the region instead of relying on information from his ministers and political friends from the region.
The group said, “You cannot treat the Niger Delta with disdain while you treat your brothers that are terrorists and kidnappers (Boko Haram) like kings and queens by committing the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement from Geneva to witness your transactions with them, before they released their hostages to you.”
“Let Muhammadu Buhari be advised to come down from his ethnic and religious fundamentalist iron horse to lead the Federal Government dialogue and negotiations team with neutral international observers and representatives of international oil companies.”
Meanwhile, the President of the Ijaw National Congress, Chief Boma Obuoforibo, has said Niger Delta stakeholders will not give the Federal Government an ultimatum or a timeframe to implement their demand for the development of the region.
Obuoforibo, who spoke in a telephone interview with SUNDAY PUNCH on Friday, said the stakeholders were optimistic that the President would not renege on his promise to alleviate the sufferings of Niger Delta people.
He said, “We are not going to be negative about the ability of the Federal Government to implement the demands because we have a positive mindset and we have never reached this length in the past. We are doing all this in good faith.”
Meanwhile, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, told one of our correspondents on Saturday that the release of Tompolo was not part of the demands of the Niger Delta leaders.
Shehu said, “I was present when the Niger Delta Elders met the President. At no point did anyone mention this (Tompolo) or any other name by way of a demand for release. ”