NIGER Delta Avengers, NDA, have denied reports that they had nominated Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, to head their dialogue team with the Federal Government, describing same as the lie of the century.
The group also accused the Okah brothers, both of whom are serving jail terms in Nigerian and South African prisons, of using disorganised All Progressives Congress, APC, characters from the Niger Delta region to impress the “powers that be at Abuja.” Meanwhile, four Ijaw and Niger Delta rights groups, have said that they would not subscribe to Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, ordering the form and structure of the region’s dialogue team with the Federal Government, adding that the group should not give any condition to Niger Delta leaders. The groups, Niger Delta Security Watch Organisation of Nigeria, led by Dickson Bekederemo, Ijaw Human Rights Monitors, headed by Fred Brisibe, Ijaw People Development Initiative coordinated by Austin Ozobo and Foundation for Human Rights and Anti-Corruption Crusade, led by Alaowei Cleric, stated this in a joint statement in Warri, Delta State. Also, acting Secretary General of Gbaramatu Traditional Council, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, said: “Niger Delta does not belong to MEND alone. It is unacceptable for MEND alone to have three delegates and three for other groups in the region. “A dialogue team that includes Niger Delta leaders is the team we initiated at Effurun, near Warri, Delta State, not the one dictated by warlords to me. It is an aberration, but our leader, Chief Edwin Clark, has spoken and he has all the best answers to the issues.”
Meanwhile, NDA, in a statement, yesterday, by their spokesperson, Mudoch Agbinibo, while reiterating their support for the Chief Clark-led Niger Delta Elders and Stakeholders conference committee to lead the pan-Niger Delta negotiations/dialogue team, said that it was ready for talks whenever the Federal Government was ready. He said: “The NDA cannot be teleguided by 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. “We are amazed that Prof. Wole 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 the country and listen to the Niger Delta agitation positively. “That, we, the NDA, have named Prof Soyinka and some incredible names to advise and lead any group, is the lie of the century. The handwriting is so clear that our nobel laureate’s name is going the infamous way, as he is being named as an adviser with some unscrupulous characters as NDA dialogue team with the government of Nigeria. “Putting the records straight, the name/names parading as factions of the Niger Delta Avengers are just the figments of the imaginations of some persons protecting their jobs and hell bent on derailing the wheel of progress in the history of Nigeria and the Niger Delta agitation.” However, the four groups commended MEND “for accepting the leadership of Chief Clark.