Government Tompolo Urges Avengers to Dialogue With Nigerian Government
A former militant who was granted amnesty by the Nigerian government has urged a new militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), to engage in talks with the government and cease attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region, IBTimes UK reports.
Nigeria, Africa’s biggest oil producer, has already been negatively affected by renewed violence in the area as oil production has dropped to 1.6m barrels per day (bpd), from 2.2m bpd.
Earlier in June, Nigeria announced it would scale back its military presence in the Niger Delta in order to foster dialogue with militants and reduce attacks in the restive region.
Government Ekpemupolo, or “Tompolo” as he is also known, said dialogue was the best option to resolve the current crisis in the oil-rich Niger Delta.
“I believe fervently that the Government is serious and willing to end this re-occurring crisis in the Niger Delta region. Enough is enough”, he said in a statement, according to Sahara Reporters.
Addressing NDA, Tompolo said: “I do not know you and how to reach you except through the mass media. Therefore it is high time you stopped the bombing and destruction of crude oil facilities in the Niger Delta region.”
He then accused the militants of disrupting peace in theGbaramatu Kingdom, Delta state, as they caused the militarisation of the Niger Delta as it had already occurred in 2009.
NDA is the latest militant organisation to wage war against Nigeria due to perceived marginalisation in the Niger Delta. Attacks blamed on NDA forced Chevron and Royal Dutch Shell to close two plants, with the group vowing to bring the country’s oil production down “to zero”.
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