Odein Ajumogobia, former minister of state for petroleum resources, says reports that he had agreed to represent Niger Delta militants in a dialogue with the federal government are not accurate.
The former Rivers state attorney-general said he does not know the alleged perpetrators of attacks on oil installations and had not offered to serve as their representative in the planned dialogue.
Ajumogobia, who was appointed minister of foreign affairs after serving as junior petroleum minister from 2007-2010, said it was true he got a call from someone claiming to represent the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) but it was a different conversation they had.
AJUMOGOBIA’S STATEMENT IN FULL
My attention has been drawn to widespread reports in the media claiming that I have agreed to participate in negotiations with the Federal Government over the issue of attacks against oil installations in the Niger Delta on behalf of some of the alleged perpetrators of these actions or connected persons. This is not so. I wish to make it absolutely clear that I do not know the alleged perpetrators nor have I offered to serve as their representative in prospective discussions with the Federal Government in any capacity whatsoever.
I was recently contacted by someone who claimed to represent the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). In that conversation the caller asked if I would be willing to participate in an initiative to find ways to end the attacks on oil installations through dialogue towards restoring peace and stability in the region.
My brief response was that if the Federal Government was genuinely interested in entering into discussions with credible parties who could help to facilitate such a dialogue to halt the actions that were undermining the social and economic stability of the region and the nation I would readily participate. In such an event I would seek to articulate the proper interests of all law abiding Nigerians generally and the ordinary people of the Niger Delta States, in particular.
I am not affiliated to or the official or legal representative of any particular group and I am certainly not an advocate of the unstated demands or actions of any insurgent organisations.
SGD. H. Odein Ajumogobia SAN