Niger Delta Avengers announced a conditional ceasefire and agreed to hold talks with the Federal Government. Bulwark analysts read the statement from the NDA website and one thing immediately stood out. The writing style and language of the statement was uncharacteristic of typical NDA statements. This one did not include a single grammatical error which is usually expected in NDA posts.
For example their last post on 18th August 2016, titled “Our Prayer for Buhari” had several grammatical errors below:
Screenshot of blog post from Niger Delta Avengers website
The “ceasefire post” on the other hand was impeccably written. Below is a screenshot. Note the care to use semicolons and even the correct use of punctuation in the Brig. Gen signature:
Screenshot of ceasefire message posted by NDA on their website.
After reading the report, it was deduced that it was more than likely written by possibly an elderly individual, very educated and highly knowledgeable about Nigerian history. For example, the writer mentioned the need for the Nigerian government to utilize frameworks and objectives included in reports such as the Kaiama Declaration, The Ogomudia report and so on. This is the sort of information that young militants should not necessarily be conversant of.
This leads to a conclusion that the report was more than likely drafted by individuals involved in the negotiation process.
NDA has not claimed responsibility for any pipeline attacks in the month of August, which indicates that back channel negotiations have been going on for quite some time. Attacks that did occur in the month of August were carried out by other groups and this is what the Nigerian government, South-South government and elders need to be concerned about.
The threat of new groups forming and carrying out attacks because they see that doing so gets them an audience with the Federal government is going to be the new area of concern.
NDA has been known to back out of ceasefire agreements before if they feel their conditions are not being met or if the military is still carrying out operations in the area. What typically happens is that the militants take the ceasefire period to recuperate and stock up on resources and explosives.
As expected, we do not know the full terms that have been agreed upon with the NDA members, however, one thing all Nigerians can agree on is that the best way to bring about lasting peace is to bring genuine development to the Niger Delta.
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