24th August, 2016
Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, has been chosen by the Niger Delta Avengers militant group as one of the members of its dialogue group in the proposed dialogue with the federal government.
Mr. Ballantyne Agiri, the spokesman for the Dialogue Group, made this known to the New Telegraph on Tuesday.
Agiri hinted that the militants had set up a dialogue group to engage the Federal Government in meaningful dialogue as part of the initiatives to end the crisis rocking the Niger Delta region.
He noted that the Nobel Laureate was chosen because of the track records as a freedom fighter as well as a credible and detribalized personality.
According to Agiri, the leadership of the militant group has for months been looking for credible persons who are capable of standing for them and present their grievances before the federal government.
He said, “I was on my own when they invited me to work for them.
“But I told them that one person cannot hold dialogue with the government, that we should look for eminent Nigerians who have the pedigree to do a good job.
“The moment I mentioned Professor Wole Soyinka, they became interested because, according to them, he is somebody who is not from the Niger Delta, but has a credible and detribalized personality.”
“Right now, we are constituting the dialogue team, we are putting logistics in place. Some of the members of the team are coming from outside the country.
“When you see some of them, you will even be shocked. Some of them are people who have served this country in different capacities. We are in the process. You know, this thing is not one man’s business. Most of those we have contacted do not want us to disclose their names yet.
“I only mentioned Soyinka to you because you remember that recently he went to Aso Rock to meet with Mr President to brief him and he said that Mr. President was happy with our proposal for peace,” he added.