Avengers Lay Down Arms, Implore FG on Meaningful Dialogue
The Niger Delta Avengers have laid down their arms and declared readiness to engage the Federal Government in a meaningful dialogue that would ensure peace returns to the oil-rich region.
The militant group also demanded that government shows commitment towards the peace process by reducing the military presence in the region, Vanguard reports.
This is coming after the Army launched ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’, an aggressive campaign to stem the disruptive activities of militants in the Niger Delta region.
One of the stakeholders of the Amnesty Programme, Elder Timi Ogoriba made the disclosure on Friday after an indoor stakeholders meeting held in the Presidential Amnesty Office, Abuja.
“I see an end to the militancy in the Niger Delta, definitely, there is nothing that starts that does not end. Right now, there is a ceasefire because of the interfacing by some of us with the people that are involved,” he said.
“Government on its part has to show commitment by trying to put up a dialogue team, doing some of the things the young men had asked for, which I know they are very much aware of.”
Elder Ogoriba further opined that it would be reasonable for government to honour the deal by withdrawing its troops so as to pave way for a meaningful dialogue with the Avengers.
“As far as we are concerned, the military is on one side then the agitators are on one side. If at this time, the agitators have pronounced a ceasefire, and the military is still there, it may appear provocative, it may be misconstrued.”
Stating that the agitators are ready to commence dialogue once government puts up a team, he stated that no meaningful headway can be made without sincerity of purpose.
“I am believing that at the end of the day, these issues causing problems for us will be addressed. Everybody should be interested, government should be proactive. People from the Niger Delta too should take care of their people and address the issues when they come up.”
He said the extension of the amnesty programme, and other agitations in the region would be addressed in the dialogue.
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