The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) has announced a conditional ceasefire following months of attacks on key oil and gas facilities.
In a message on its website late on Saturday, the NDA said: “We are going to support any collective/negotiation team emerging from the Chief (Dr.) Papa Edwin Kiagbodo Clark Niger Delta elders and genuine stakeholders conference to engage with the federal government of Nigeria, representatives from the home countries of all multinational Oil Corporations and neutral international mediators that will be focused on achieving the short, medium and long term frameworks and objectives to de-escalating conflicts in the Niger Delta”.
“Most of the frameworks and objectives are clearly stated in various reports, declarations and recommendations of the likes of the Sir. Henry Willinks minority rights reports of pre-independence Nigeria (1957-8), The Kaiama Declaration document, The General Alexander Ogomudia report, The Leedum Mittee headed, Niger Delta Technical Committee report and restructuring to fiscal federalism.
“We have resolved to reject any idea of the peace of our times; we want the peace with honor this time around! Our advice to our Niger Delta elders and genuine stakeholders is that, whenever this inhuman project called Nigeria and her government is ready for dialogue/negotiations with them, this mandate should be treated with that care as driving a vehicle like that of a truck laden with fire”, the Group stated.
There have been unconfirmed reports of talks between the government of President Muhammadu Buhari and the NDA. But the NDA never publicly acknowledged that it was engaged in negotiations, or that it would support efforts by community figures from the area.
The NDA said it would honour its ceasefire pledge “unless the ruling political APC (All Progressives Congress party) continues … to arrest, intimidate, invade and harass innocent citizens and invade especially Ijaw communities.” Otherwise it warned: “We promise to fight more for the Niger Delta, if this opportunity fails.” The Ijaw ethnic people of Delta, Rivers and Bayelsa states have long dominated oil rebel groups operating in the area, although experts say militants from other communities have also set up new branches.