Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Odein Ajumogobia, has distant himself from report that he has agreed to negotiate with the Federal Government on behalf of the Niger Delta militants.
Ajumogobia, a one time Rivers State Attorney General said though he got a call from someone claiming to be a representative of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, but the discussion was not for him to represent the agitators at any forum.
In a statement he personally signed, the former Minister claimed that he does not know the alleged militants and did not agree to represent them.
The statement reads, “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.”