Speaking with journalists in Abuja, the militants revealed that they would put down their arms only if Ibe Kachikwu, the minister of state for petroleum, meets and negotiates with them.
Vanguard reports that the militants laid down their conditions after a secret meeting involving their leaders from the Niger Delta and their counterparts in Alepo, Agric, Epe, Ikorodu, Itoki and Igbokoda areas of Lagos.
One of the leaders, who gave his name as General Levi, stressed that they would not want to back down until Kachikwu meets with them and secures amnesty for their members to avoid persecution.
The militant leaders promised that after meeting with the minister they would track and expose those who may cause further destruction to oil facilities.
The militants noted that they had been pleading for amnesty since the days of the former president Goodluck Jonathan’s administration but nobody took them into consideration. They stressed that they were ready to work with the new administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to put an end to oil bunkering and pipeline vandalism in the region.
“We are ready to drop our arms and denounce hostility with the government on the condition that the Minister of Petroleum will meet with us and hear our own side of the story. We are not against the government but we have genuine issues yet to be addressed by successive administrations in this country.
“We are ready to commence discussion and denounce association with this present situation. From now henceforth, we are ready to block any channel for anyone not to go through to bomb oil pipelines,” they said.
The bombing of oil installations in the Niger Delta commenced last week after a Federal High Court in Lagos ordered security operatives to arrest Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo.
On January 14 suspected ex-militants blew up a gas pipeline in Warri South-West local government area of Delta state.
In a swift reaction, Tompolo condemned the attack and stressed that he had nothing to do with it.