NIGER DELTA REGION – Negotiation between the federal government and militants seems to be heading towards a stalemate as Niger Delta militants have been described as being confused.
Militants in the Niger Delta region have bombed oil and gas pipeline since President Muhammadu Buhari came into power with the most notorious being the Niger Delta Avengers.
The Avengers however declared a ceasefire and appointed Chief Edwin Clark as its spokesperson.
The Punch reports that in spite of the ceasefire declared by the Avengers, the federal government is still finding it difficult to settle things with the militants.
The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation said that there was confusion among the militants as they were not speaking with one voice.
The recent bombing of pipelines also showed that the militants have not stopped their activities.
Mr. Mohammed Garba-Deen who is the group public affairs division of the NNPC said the government was fully prepared to bring peace but the militants were confused.
He said:“There is no confusion on the part of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources. If anybody is confused, it is the militants that are confused because they are disorganised. They have refused to organise themselves into one, instead they have NDA, MEND and many others.
“So under this circumstance, the petroleum ministry is taking its time so that it does not negotiate with the wrong people. And that is not confusion. That is caution. The situation is causing concern and not confusion on our side, because we will like a situation where a credible and authentic group emerges.
“And whichever group emerges, it should have all the backing of those making agitations in the Niger Delta. So it is therefore important to state that we are not confused but cautious, because from all indications, the confusion is on the part of the militants from the region.”
The reason for the fact the militants are not speaking with one voice may be because they represent different regions within he Niger Delta.
While some claim to be fighting for the Ijaw people, others insist that they represent the interest of the Urhobo.
Some of the militants group include: Reformed Niger Delta Avengers, Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, Adaka Boro Avengers, Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force, Red Egbesu Water Lions, Niger Delta Vigilante and Oyobio-Oyobio.