22 July 2016, Warri – The Ijaw Youth Council has criticised the Federal Government for saying that oil companies in the Niger Delta were spearheading talks with members of the Niger Delta Avengers.
President Muhammadu Buhari had during a farewell meeting with the outgoing Ambassador to Germany, Mr. Michael Zinner, on Thursday said that the FG was holding talks with militants through oil companies.
But the IYC said in a statement by its spokesperson, Mr. Eric Omare, that such a statement by the President Muhammadu Buhari showed lack of seriousness by the present administration to end attacks on oil facilities in the region.
“The Ijaw Youth Council worldwide says that President Buhari and the Federal Government of Nigeria should stop deceiving Nigerians and the international community about talks with Niger Delta militants on how to stop attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region,” the statement said.
The group argued that what was happening in the region was beyond what oil companies and security authorities could handle without the direct involvement of the government.
It said, “The IYC wonders if Nigeria is back to the pre-colonial and independence Royal Niger Company days where international companies govern Nigeria. The point must be made that the issues at stake are completely beyond the capacity of oil companies to resolve.
“For the umpteenth time, the IYC call on the aides and advisers to President Buhari to properly advise him on how to solve the current hostilities in the Niger Delta region and equally display a determination to resolve the problem as his predecessors did.
“Only a sincere and holistic dialogue with the people of the Niger Delta region which is aimed at addressing the remote causes of recurrent militancy can bring permanent peace to the Niger Delta region.
“This can only happen when President Buhari as the political leader of Nigeria comes down to the negotiation table.”