Confusion among militants over Buhari’s call for peace

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Niger Delta Avengers

There appears confusion among militants in the Niger Delta over the recent call by President Muhammadu Buhari for dialogue and peace in the oil-rich region.

While some of the militant groups pledged to work with the President for peace to reign in the region, the Niger Delta Peoples Democratic Front tasked the Federal Government to do the right thing for peace to reign.

The leader of the NDPDF, General Playboy, said in a statement on Saturday that the Federal Government should release the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu.

General Playboy decried the release of N29bn to fight insurgency in the region, adding that such step was an indication that the President did not want peace.

Four militant groups had 11 days ago expressed readiness to heed the Federal Government’s call for dialogue as a way of achieving peace in the Niger Delta.

Earlier, General John Duku of the Niger Delta Watchdogs, General Ekpo Ekpo of the Niger Delta Volunteers, Commander Henry Okon Etete of the Niger Delta Peoples Fighters, and Commander Asukwo Henshaw, spokesperson for Bakassi Freedom Fighters, had in a statement agreed to embrace peace.

The agitators in the statement said, “We wish to assure Mr. President that the Niger Delta militants and the people are 100 per cent ready to hold talks with him. We have no personal grudge against him and his government and we promise to work together to make Nigeria better.”

But General Playboy said peace was nowhere in sight in the region, alleging that the Federal Government was persecuting a former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, and Mrs. Patience Jonathan.

“If President Buhari wants peace, we (militants) also want peace. But as far as we are concerned, the President does not want peace. If he does, I believe he will not look for Tompolo; if he wants peace, he will not look for Mrs. Patience (Jonathan), Kingsley Kuku and Orubebe.

“If he (President Buhari) wants peace, he will not look for the past administration and he will release Nnamdi Kanu. If he wants peace, he will not award (earmark) N29bn to fight insurgency. If President Buhari wants peace, he knows what to do,” he said.

General Playboy also condemned the killings in Kaduna South, adding that militants in the Niger would not hesitate to embark on a reprisal against the Fulani in their domain.

He called on President Buhari to find a solution to the incessant attacks on innocent Nigerians by Fulani herdsmen.

“Fulani herdsmen have been killing people. If he (President) wants peace, we will give him peace. The world is saying that he should release Nnamdi Kanu, but he has not done that,” he said.

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