Dialogue: New Militant Group Rejects Clark, Backs Diete-Spiff

A new militant group, Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, which has claimed responsibility for attacks on oil facilities in the upland area of the Niger Delta, on Monday warned the Federal Government not to negotiate with Chief Edwin Clark-led negotiation team on behalf of militants in the region.

Instead of Chief Clark’s team, the group said they will accept any dialogue coming from the government through the Niger Delta Dialogue Contact Group, led by the first military governor of Rivers State and Amanyanabo (traditional ruler) of Twon Brass of Bayelsa State, King Alfred Diete-Spiff.

The Niger Delta Avengers had on Saturday said they were ready to support any collective/negotiation team emerging from Chief Edwin Kiagbodo Clark and other genuine Niger Delta stakeholders.

But in a statement issued by the spokesperson of the NDGJM, Aldo Agbalaja, on Monday, the group said the Ijaw national leader cannot negotiate for militants in the region, noting that Clark’s team was the same ‘gang of breast-pocket politicians’ who in the six to seven years of Goodluck Jonathan’s presidency denied the region of development.

It threatened to carry out further deadly attacks on oil institution until the President Muhammadu Buhari does the right thing for the people of the region.

The statement read, “We are also aware that there is a group (NDDCG), led by the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass, Alfred Diete-Spiff, which has the involvement of some international agencies. We would rather the Federal Government builds on this group to reach out to the genuine representatives of the peoples of the region, across the six states, to discuss the way forward. The reason is that we believe that what is worth doing at all is worth doing well.

“Build on this group and reach out to our people, not on an Edwin Clark group which had connived with Jonathan in the past to subject this region, including the majority of our Ijaw brothers, to one of the most untold humiliations by leaving the region they claimed to be representing worse than it was under previous administrations.

“Enough of these buccaneers in the name of leaders of the region. Our people from both the upland and the creeks deserve a better deal, not the Avengers kind of deal. We are serving a notice that the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate is still carrying on with this campaign against Nigeria’s oil and gas interest until the Federal Government does the right thing.”

NDGJM added that the same people who established the Niger Delta Avengers were the same people who called for the ceasefire.

“Niger Delta Avengers: As a matter of fact, the people who called for truce were the same set of people who put the Avengers together in the first place. Therefore, the hypocrisy of these people is becoming glaring to the world by the day.

“We also know that the charade called ceasefire is in the bid to collect more money from both the Federal Government and oil companies, which would be shared between the founders and the boys of the Avengers. We hereby serve a notice that the so-called truce called by E.K. Clark and co. is not recognised by the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, as we do not see Clark as the leader of all Niger Delta, but of only the Ijaw nation.

“Therefore, President Buhari should take note. Stop wasting your time on these people; they are not serving the interest of the Niger Delta and they cannot stop the current campaign. They can only withdraw their boys, the Avengers, from action but not the genuine campaigners for a better Niger Delta.

“We hereby serve a notice that the so-called truce called by E.K. Clark and co. is not recognised by the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, as we do not see Clark as the leader of all Niger Delta, but of only the Ijaw nation”, the statement further added.

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