There is an indication that the Federal Government has yet to commence any negotiation with the Niger Delta militants as the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation has declared that the militants are confused.
According to the NNPC, the confusion has made government officials more cautious, as it has triggered “serious concern” in the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
The corporation noted that the inability of the militants to abide by the ceasefire agreement announced earlier in the month and the dissenting voices among the various agitating groups in the region had shown that there was confusion among them.
When asked to state the militant group that government was negotiating with, considering the fact that there had been different statements from various agitators in the region, the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, NNPC, Mr. Mohammed Garba-Deen, referred our correspondent to the Media Head, FMPR, Mr. Idang Alibi.
But Alibi could not be reached as he did not answer calls to his telephone and did not respond to a text message sent to him up till the time of filing this report.
However, when probed further, Garba-Deen stated that the ministry and, in fact, the NNPC, were concerned about the confusion among militants in the Niger Delta.
He refuted claims that the Federal Government had also been thrown into confusion as touching which group to negotiate with.
Garba-Deen said, “There is no confusion on the part of the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources. If anybody is confused, it is the militants that are confused because they are disorganised. They have refused to organise themselves into one, instead they have NDA, MEND and many others.
“So under this circumstance, the petroleum ministry is taking its time so that it does not negotiate with the wrong people. And that is not confusion. That is caution. The situation is causing concern and not confusion on our side, because we will like a situation where a credible and authentic group emerges.
“And whichever group emerges, it should have all the backing of those making agitations in the Niger Delta. So it is therefore important to state that we are not confused but cautious, because from all indications, the confusion is on the part of the militants from the region.”