Niger Delta militants announce ceasefire

The new militant group Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLF), which claimed affiliation with Niger Delta Avengers, has announced ceasefire, TheCable reports. The militants had earlier vowed to launch six missiles in the region and to also lock down Nigeria’s airspace, but it said it resolved to do otherwise after the federal government proposed talks. Meanwhile, the group said government would have to follow its demand if it wants the peace to be continued.

 JNDLF listed demands that comprised the immediate release of former national security adviser Sambo Dasuki, setback of the order to freeze the bank accounts of the former militant leader Tompolo, formation of Matitime University in Okerenkoko, Delta stateand others. The group said in a statement:

“We shall continue to engage in dialogue if our demands are met. Our representatives for the dialogue, especially the governors and others will not betray our demands with the federal government. Any betrayal on their own part shall be viewed as betrayal of the entire region and we shall go after them immediately as they know our mode of operation in which they will not escape from us. “There is no gainsaying that we made our earlier promise to launch six missiles simultaneously against some targeted areas. But this was waved aside as a result of appeals made to us through email by the federal government and some international nations to open talks with Buhari.

“We saw some genuine aspiration on the part of Buhari, who made several contacts to us to see reason with them over the issue of under-development of the region. And since he (Buhari) had set the ball rolling for a clear negotiation with us, there is no problem without solution. We have therefore declared ceasefire in order to negotiate with the government if it is a true reflection of what they have in mind to develop the Niger Delta region.”

The demands of the militants also comprise:

– Implementation of the report of the 2014 national conference

– Removal of Paul Boroh, coordinator of the presidential amnesty programme and should be replaced with Dr. Felix Tuodolo who has been in the struggle of non-violence since 1980 and he was the designer of the amnesty programme

 – Ready to negotiate with the federal government for the sake of monetary benefit to us but how genuinely the government will develop the region is at the centre of our discussion and anything less than that we will continue our struggle without further warning to the federal government

 – Immediate release of IPOB leader and Biafra Radio Director, Nnamdi Kanu.

 Ibe Kachikwu, Nigerian minister for petroleum, has said recently that that President Muhammadu Buhari had nominated a team of negotiators, led by the national security advisor, to commence talks with shareholders in the Niger Delta. There had been rumours that President Buhari visited United Kingdom for secret meeting on Niger Delta crisis. However, the government of the United Kingdom said it wasn’t aware of any meetings of the Nigerian president.