FG warned against negotiating poor deal with Niger Delta Avengers

Posted by Nelson Dafe, Benin City | 1 July 2016 | 2,275 times

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The Federal Government has been warned against negotiating a poor deal with the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).

The warning came from an opinion leader in Edo State who wants his identity undisclosed. The man alleged that the amnesty programme negotiated with Niger Delta militants has failed and pointed to the emergence of the new militant group in the region, The Niger Delta Avengers, as a proof of the failure of the amnesty deal.

He told News Express: “The idea of an amnesty deal with militants was doomed to fail at the very start, because once you negotiate with groups of militants and give them some special benefits, it is a recipe for the possible emergence of other militant groups who might feel left out of the largesse.”

The man accused the Federal Government of insincerity in tackling the root causes of the Niger Delta crisis, which he linked to the underdevelopment of the region. “What was needed, and what is still needed, is a proper amendment of the constitution to ensure that states have more control of the resources in their lands,” he said.

The Niger Deltan alleged that the amnesty programme and any proposed deal to placate members of the Avengers would be tantamount to being a distraction from the pillage of the resources of the region by the ruling elite.

“The amnesty programme was simply a case of giving the dog the bone and robbing the house. It was never a real attempt to bring succor to the ordinary Niger Deltan. It was a case of appeasing some noise makers and then continue pillaging the resources of the area,” he argued.

The man alleged that the amnesty programme itself is riddled with a lot of corruption. He said: “People who were never entitled to benefit from the amnesty deal are benefiting up till this moment. Some people from other regions other than the Niger Delta have spent money bribing their way into benefiting from the programme. Today, a lot of individuals who were not due to be covered by the programme have used the amnesty deal to travel overseas on courses, some are paid one form of stipend or the other till this day. It is the anger that the amnesty deal is not serving its real purpose that mostly drives the members of the Avengers to pick up arms against the Nigerian state today.”

Source: News Express

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