The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), a militant group, has declared that it will support any negotiation team produced by Friday's Niger Delta stakeholders conference convoked by Edwin Kiagbodo Clark.
This declaration was contained in a statement signed by NDA spokesperson Mudoch Agbinigbo. The group said genuine Niger Delta elders and stakeholders could engage with the federal government of Nigeria, representatives from the home countries of all multinational oil companies and neutral international mediators towards achieving enduring peace in the region. The focus of such an engagement, said NDA, will be the development of a short-, medium- and long-term framework as well as the objective of de-escalating conflicts in the Niger Delta.
"Most of the frameworks and objectives are clearly stated in various reports, declarations and recommendations of the likes of the Sir Henry Willinks Minority Rights Reports of pre-independence Nigeria (1957-8), the Kaiama Declaration document, the General Alexander Ogomudia report, and the Leedum Mittee-headed Niger Delta Technical Committee report on restructuring to fiscal federalism," said NDA.
The group advised Niger Delta elders and stakeholders that they should, in the event of a negotiation with the federal government, treat the mandate given to them with utmost care.
"We are going to continue the observation of our unannounced cessation of hostilities in the Niger Delta against all interests of the multinational oil corporations, but we will continuously adopt our asymmetric warfare during this period if the Nigerian government and the ruling political APC continue to use security agencies/agents, formations and politicians to arrest, intimidate, invade and harass innocent citizens, suspected NDA members and invade especially Ijaw communities.
"We promise to fight more for the Niger Delta if this opportunity fails. Therefore, we will give our Niger Delta elders and genuine stakeholders that tacit support to the dialogue table with the government and the multinational oil corporations whenever the enabling environment prevails," the NDA added.
It also cautioned those it accused of planning to derail the Niger Delta struggle that doom awaits them. Among these, said the NDA, are the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA), its spokesperson, Cynthia Whyte, Charles Okah, Victor Ebikabowei Ben (Boyloaf), Timipre Silva, Selekaye Ebikabowei, Ayirimi Emani, Michael Johnny and Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole.