A Niger Delta group, the Niger Delta Patriotic Front (NDPF), has described the violent agitation of Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) as nothing but a ploy to gain personal benefits for members of the group. The NDPF made this known in a press statement issued on Sunday.
Signed by Mr. Joel Tamarakepreye, its Director of Information, the statement said the Niger Delta Avengers’ message is empty, heavy on propaganda, outright falsehood and marked by a desperation to attract media headlines and government attention.
According to the NDPF, the NDA is sponsored by Chief Government Emuokpolo aka Tompolo and has Dr. Ibe Kachukwu, Minister of State for Petroleum, as its biggest sympathizer.
On its claim that NDA’s message is characterised by emptiness, the NDPF said: “In their publications, which are a poor effort at meaningful propaganda and decoy, they in one swoop called on Boyloaf, Ateke Tom and Tompolo to stay clear of any negotiation with the government on their behalf and in another, they generalized by imputing the names of Timipre Sylva, Ayiri Emami and Boyloaf to stay clear of negotiations and focused on Boyloaf for the remainder of their press statement.”
The NDPF wondered why the NDA, which it described as cowardly, and Tompolo are fixated on Boyloaf, Emami and Timipre Sylva, insisting that their agitation is not in the larger interest of the Niger Delta region.
”When they had a God- given opportunity to impact positively on the region by the countless favours and benefits they accessed from our brother, the former President, what did they do with it?
“Rather they cheated their own very community, unintelligently stole and diverted government funds like primitive men that they are and abused the privileges of their offices for personal gains.
“It is unfortunate that the Ijaw Nation has been on silent mode since this senseless criminal action orchestrated by Tompolo.
“By their silence, they have acquiesced to Tompolo’s madness, and they should remember what Ijaw stands for and know that the struggle for inclusion, environmental, economic and political rights of the Ijaw Nation cannot be championed by known thieves in the guise of freedom fighters and occasional resource control enthusiasts,” said the NDPF.
The group asked where the NDA and its Niger Delta fervour were during the Goodluck Jonathan Presidency, adding that if the Niger Delta wants to be taken seriously by locally and by the international community, its indigene s must be honest by describing the NDA as a band of brigands.
The NDPF said the claim that a negation is in progress between the NDA and the federal government is a charade authored by Kachiukwu and the Delta State Deputy Governor, who it claimed is a member of the NDA. The NDPF reckons that NDA lacks the capacity to sustain its agitation, the reason it wants the negotiations it is involved in to end in a political solution that will require the Attorney General of the Federation to discontinue the criminal trial of Tompolo and also Colonel Sambo Dasuki, former National Security Adviser.
“Is it not laughable and a clear pointer to the political agenda of the cowardly NDA that the unconditional release of Colonel Dasuki is a major item in their demands?
“What relationship does the trial of Colonel Dasuki has to the Niger Delta demands for a fair deal from Nigeria?” asked the NDPF.