Warri - Former Niger Delta militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, commonly known as Tompolo, has urged members of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) to sheath their sword and dialogue with the Federal Government.
Ekpemupolo, a leader of Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), made the appeal on Sunday in a statement made available to newsmen in Warri, Delta.
He said that pipeline vandalism was counter-productive to the economic growth of the country, especially at this critical time when the economy was contracting.
"I wish to appeal to you to stop the bombing of oil facilities in the Niger Delta region and embrace the path of dialogue with the Federal Government.
"Government is ready to hear you out on whatever issues you wish to discuss with it.
"If truly as you guys claim that you are fighting for the well-being of the people of the Niger Delta, then you must adhere to this appeal, otherwise, the world will label you as criminals," Ekpemupolo said.
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He alleged that contractors in-charge of repair works of attacked pipelines were equally culpable in the pipeline vandalism.
According to him, they sponsor their allies in the communities to continue to destroy pipelines in order to get more repair works.
The former militant leader said that he knew nothing about NDA, which was carrying out series of attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region.
"You are aware that some mischievous persons have continued to point fingers at me.
"They said that I am either behind you or directly carrying out the destruction of oil pipelines across the Niger Delta region.
"They have even called for my arrest by the military without a single proof that I am truly behind you people.
"I still maintain that I know nothing about your group and the destruction of crude oil facilities in the Niger Delta region.
"Once again, I urge you to put an end to this economic sabotage and allow the government to look into your demands now, I believe a word is enough for the wise," Ekpemupolo said.