Abubakar questions Niger Delta Avengers’ motives


Former Head of State, Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar has wondered what Niger Delta Avengers are avenging, even as he pleaded with the Federal Government to hold peace talks with the resurgent militant group in the Niger Delta.

He gave this advice yesterday when he received members of the Niger State House of Assembly who visited him on his 74th birthday in Minna, the Niger state capital.

According to him, “All we need to do is to sit down on a round table and discuss these problems.

“Even if you fight a war and win, you must sit down with the people you conquered. The insecurity we are going through now is uncalled for.”

“For the Boko Haram, nobody knows what they want. The Avengers are now out, what are they avenging?” he asked.

The former head of state decried a situation where the people are going through hardship because of the activities of Boko Haram insurgents, Avengers and Biafra agitators.

He said there was need for the avengers to understand that they were destroying their land by blowing up oil pipes, leading to oil spillage.

Abubakar said the action of the avengers had brought crude oil production to the lowest level in decades.

He advised the avengers against vandalism, saying it would negatively affect the 13 per cent derivation accruing to the region due to sharp decline in oil revenue.

“I hope they will come back to their senses and let us try to give this country peace. We do not deserve what we are going through.

“We need peace and I am begging everybody in the spirit of Ramadan. Whatever religion anybody is following, please let us give peace a chance,” he said.

Also speaking, Speaker of the state assembly, Alhaji Ahmed Marafa expressed gratitude to God for using the former head of state to restore democracy to Nigeria.

He described the celebrator as an illustrious son of the state whose counsel had guided the assembly in legislating for good governance in the interest of the people.