The Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, yesterday, asked President Muhammadu Buhari to call for a referendum for Nigerians to decide if they want to stay as one country or not, just like Prime Minister of the United Kingdom (UK), David Cameron, did over the UK membership of the European Union EU.
NDA, which unveiled its plan for what it called a Sovereign State of Niger Delta, on May 12, made the call while reacting to last Friday’s appeal by Buhari to Niger Delta militants, in God’s name, to cease the bombing of oil and gas installations in the region.
The militant group, in separate responses to Sunday Vanguard inquiries at 2.04 pm and 2.56 pm respectively, yesterday, said: “He (Buhari) should call for a referendum to enable every Nigerian to vote if they want to stay as Nigerians or not just like what David Cameron of Great Britain did.”
Our reporter had asked: “Buhari is appealing to Niger Delta militants to stop the bombings in the region in God’s name because of the destruction to the economy, what is your group’s response to his appeal?” NDA, which vowed over a month and a half ago “to display our currency, flag, passport, our ruling council and our territory to the world by October 16,” seemed indifferent to the appeal.
Ball in President’s court
Other militants and Niger Delta groups, contacted by Sunday Vanguard on the President’s plea, were also guarded like the Avengers, some dismissing Buhari’s call and others asking him to take the bull by the horn by leading the planned dialogue with stakeholders of the region.
Notwithstanding the distrust of Buhari, many see his appeal to the militants as a major shift on his earlier stand that soldiers should crush them.
They also believe that if he shores up the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, and his team spearheading the moves to stem the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta, they would end his nightmare with the present rapport he enjoys with the stakeholders and some of the militant groups.
Culled from www.vanguardngr.com