The federal government is willing to talk with the Niger Delta Avengers, minister for Niger-Delta, Usani Uguru Usani said on Monday, days after the militant group called off a year-long ceasefire.
“If the Avengers wants to meet with us, we are ready to meet with them … We are at all times ready to engage them and other groups and stakeholders,” Usani told reporters at the presidential villa in Abuja.
“My message to the Avengers is that they should be patient with the government. We have been doing what we can to ensure the development of the region. Everything has a phase of planning and a phase of execution so I will advise all stakeholders to remain calm,” he added.
The minister asked the Niger Delta Avengers to be patient and said the government was pushing through development schemes in the southern territory where rights groups have long complained about poverty and pollution.
The Avengers attacks on energy facilities in the Niger Delta last year contributed partly to the recession in economy.