The Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, has dismissed the announcement by the Department of State Services, DSS, that some of its members were arrested as laughable, challenging the secret police to grant reporters access to suspects in its custody to substantiate its claims that those arrested were members of the militant group.
The DSS had, in a statement signed on Friday by Tony Opuiyo, disclosed that two NDA members were arrested as a result of intensified surveillance the service recently put in place to forestall criminal activities across the country. It mentioned Christian ‘Sensor’ Oluba and Selky Torughedi as two individuals with alleged ties to the Avengers who were apprehended while plotting to launch an attack on an oil installation.
But in a statement posted on its website and signed by Mudoch Agbinibo, the resurgent militant group, that has destroyed oil and gas installations across the Niger Delta, faulted the Director-General of the DSS, Lawal Daura, for trying to fool President Muhammadu Buhari by giving him a false sense of comfort over the situation in the region.
Agbinibo said the individuals arrested were, in fact, SSS moles whom the department only arrested and labeled criminals after they demanded payment for the clandestine operations they had carried out for the country.
“The boys have the right to demand for their money from SSS, why not pay them instead of arresting and labeling them as Niger Delta Avengers members?” the group asked, adding that “If SSS are (sic) denying this, let them allow the suspects to speak to the press. We (Niger Delta Avengers) don’t have any connection with these boys. We dare the SSS to allow the boys to tell the world their side of the story.”
The NDA spokesman admonished security outfits to desist from “feeding” Buhari a false narrative about activities across the region, saying the war against oil vandals would not be won if they remained economical with the truth.
“SSS and Nigerian Army can’t win the Niger Delta war by feeding their President with false information about situation of things in the Region.
“It’s all good because as it seems the SSS is now having internal crisis with most of their sleeper agents and it’s a sign that God is on our side,” he said.
NDA also decried DSS DG’s alleged indifference to the truth, saying the security chief should imbibe the teachings of his faith as a Muslim.
“This is to SSS Director Lawal Daura, this the holy month of Ramadan and as a Muslim you hold it to Allah and the Nigeria people to say the truth. Why not come out with the truth?”
The group, therefore, urged the authorities to sort out their matter with the informants, stressing that Buhari should focus on more important issues in the Niger Delta.
“The Nigerian Army will never get us (Niger Delta Avengers), let them go and settle with their sleeper agents and stop deceiving the general public and their President.
“There are problem in the Niger Delta region such as underdevelopment, environmental degradation, lack of infrastructure and the issue of self-determination. These are the areas Mr. President should focus on, not arresting their allies and linking them to Niger Delta Avengers,” the statement read.