Be Prepared To Dialogue With Other Ethnic Militias— Urhobo Group Tells FG | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Be Prepared To Dialogue With Other Ethnic Militias— Urhobo Group Tells FG

avengers, MEND; NDGJM
Posted: Jun 20, 2016 at 8:57 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

Emma Arubi


The leadership of the National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators (NCNDE-A) , has told  the Federal Government to be prepared to dialogue with other ethnic militias in the region for agreeing to dialogue with the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), saying that the consequences of dialoguing with the avengers are very grave.

Israel Akpodoro ,  President of NCNDE-A, in a statement in Warri , on Monday, insisted that the so-called dialogue with the Avengers is being sponsored by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to stampede President Muhammadu Buhari  knowing that the Avengers have persistently laid claims to damaging attacks on oil and gas facilities in a renewed hostilities in the Delta region.

Rising from a well attended meeting of prominent ex-agitators of Urhobo extraction, Sunday, in Ughelli, the headquarters of Ughelli North LGA ?in Delta State, Mr. Akpodoro,  stated “should the Federal Government engage the Tompolo-led Avengers made up of disgruntled elements drawn from Ijaw youths” in the region flying the name of the entire region in crimes and criminality, the President Muhammadu Buhari-led All Progressives Congress (APC), administration must be ready to dialogue with other ethnic militias that may emerge  as a result of what he described as the ongoing Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP) orchestrated dialogue with its military arm – Avengers”.

Corroborating the position of Chief Frank Ovie Kokori, an Urhobo-born elder statesman and former Secretary – General of National Union of Petroleum Employees and Natural Gas (NUPENG), who fired similar warning against dialogue with Ijaw youths whom he described as criminals, Akpodoro said the Ughelli meeting was borne out of national solidarity and loyalty to the APC -led government on the heels of threats by Utorogun Liberation Movement  to blow up the biggest gas plant in West Africa, Utorogun Gas Plant (UGP) in Udu and Ughelli South Council Areas of Delta State.

According to Akpodoro, “the Utorogun gas pipeline is the major line supplying gas to nations in the West African sub-region”.

He stressed the need to  handle the Avengers like common criminals noting that it would  amount to dangerous venture to dialogue with “a bunch of criminals who idle away their productive age making themselves available for the use of the dying PDP as mere thugs who are used for political bargain.”

He noted that the dialogue is a decoy by the PDP to stampede the Federal Government  into unconsciously stoking more troubles in the region and that youths of other tribes may be encouraged to take up arms against the Federal Government  should ?the Avengers be handled in the manner the Federal Government  is going about it.

The Urhobo-born ex-militant leader said the second reason for the threats by Urhobo youths was the delay in the payment of the monthly stipends to ex-militants who he said their lives depends on the little money paid by the office of the Federal Government Amnesty Programme.

He said that the Federal Government  should do all within its powers to pay up the outstanding to forestall the youths being vulnerable to “elements within the PDP who seek to bring down the APC-led administration” saying, the bad blood amongst the ‘bad losers’ is immeasurable adding that such characters have their collaborators in the disgruntled members of the APC.

The pro Buhari ex-militant leader said the government should address the injustice occasioned by the marginalisation of the Phase 3, amnesty programme saying “due to the politics of nepotism played by the previous administration against the beneficiaries of the Phase3, ex-militants who are mainly Urhobo youths, they are agitated and angry noting that the principles adopted for the Phase 1& 2 were compromised because an Ijaw man was the president.

For justice and equity, Akpodoro said the Federal Government  should revisit the issue surrounding the lopsidedness of the amnesty programme and called on youths in the region to stay out of crime noting that with peace the current administration in the central government was willing to develop the region beyond the imagination of “those who looted our commonwealth, adding that oil facilities in Urhoboland, Ndokwa, Isoko, Itsekiri ?and other nationalities in the region were safe because the people of those nations were more productive, hardworking unlike those who he said see crime and criminalities as their main source of livelihood.