By Odunewu Segun
A coalition group in the Niger Delta has condemned the decision of the Federal Government to dialogue with the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, and other militant groups in the region who had taken up arms against the government.
According to the President of National Coalition for Niger Delta Ex-Agitators, NCNDE-A, Israel Akpodoro, the FG was indirectly engaging in dialogue with the wanted ex-militant leader, Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, a.k.a Tompolo whom he said prides himself above the law.
He said the Federal Government ought to have demanded that those calling for dialogue must first produce the fugitive before any talk could hold. Adding that any dialogue with the Avengers and other ethnic militias in the region was an outright dialogue with Tompolo, who he said allegedly plundered the resources meant to develop the region.
He also queried the wisdom behind the payment of the University fund to Tompolo whom he noted wasn’t the owner of the land neither was he the contractor handling the construction project of the then proposed university by the previous administration but for want of stealing.
He averred that until Tompolo is brought to justice, such rascality will never end saying; “as a notorious gun runner” the only way out is for the FG to disarm criminals who were deliberately armed by the previous administration and mop up small and medium arms in the region saying, that the military ego of the militants must demystified for there to be peace.
He noted that the opposition governors in the region were playing games with the FG while calling the All Progressives Congress, APC led administration to be weary of the governors are orchestrating deceits to undermine the corporate existence of Nigeria.
He questioned sincerity of the Delta state government at negotiating peace for the FG, saying no meaningful result would be achieved due to the fact that Dr Ifeayin Okowa’s led Peoples Democratic Party, PDP government was hands in glove with Tompolo saying no amount of subterfuge will convince Nigerians of goodwill otherwise.
Akpodoro advocates concerted efforts by the political leaders in the region to demystify the outlaws among the youth population but expressed the hope that the FG was equal to the task of enforcing peace in the region.
He called on the people of the region to make up their minds to vote for APC in 2019 and save the region from the wanton looting of their commonwealth by those he described as anarchists who fester on blackmail and criminalities.