A group known as the Concerned Niger Delta Elders, CNDE, has urged the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government to only negotiate with members of the Niger Delta Avengers for peace to be restored to the oil-rich region.
This was as the group warned that entering into any negotiation with the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND, would have grave implications, such as conflict of interest, mistrust, non-implementation of resolutions among others.
CNDE, in a statement by Seigha Manijar and Aureol Viviana, assured that whatever resolutions reached with the rampaging militant group, would be a long lasting one.
The group also appealed to Avengers to sheathe their swords and dialogue with the government in a bid to end the crises in the region.
According to CNDE, “MEND should speak for itself and not for others. It can speak on behalf of the Avengers if invited to do so.
“MEND should not arrogate to itself the authority to speak for others outside its ranks.
“We understand the Avengers’ demand for foreign observers in the dialogue but we appeal to them to pick their representatives from among the numerous trusted individuals from the Niger Delta such as Dr Timiebi Agary, Brig-Gen. Paul Boroh (retd), Timi Alaibe, Prof G.G Darah, Dr Otive Igbuzor, Enemo Samiama, Roland Ekperi, Wilson Ajuwa and Joel Bisina, among others.
“However, if they are not comfortable with the suggested names, they should feel free to pick their representatives. That will show the world that they are ready for dialogue. The government should also consider the Avengers’ demand of inviting foreign observers as a show of sincerity.”