Mr. Solomon Dalung
Sports and Youth Development Minister, Mr. Solomon Dalung seems to have stirred the hornet's net by his rumoured secret meeting with the Niger Delta Avengers in the South-south part of Nigeria.
New Telegraph reports that President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered an investigation into the rumoured clandestine meeting between the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), Sports and Youth Development Minister, Mr. Solomon Dalung as a result of the controversial circumstances surrounding the gathering.
A presidential media aide under the condition of anonymity said; “Mr. President has ordered that the minister provides an answer as to whether or not he actually met with Avengers, and if truly he did, he wants to know from him who authorised the meeting,”
Dalung unathorized visit is alleged to have been facilitated by one Jude Tabai, the son of a retired justice of the Supreme Court who ferried him to Oporoza in Delta State. Further reports have it that the minister intelligently hid his identity during his presence at the host community as a introduced himself as as the head of a non-governmental organisation (NGO) working for development in the Niger Delta.
The duo of the minister and Jude went without any security escort, a local source said. On Monday, the Sports Minister claimed to have met with the leadership of the militant group as well as community leaders in Oporoza, Gbaramatu Kingdom of Warri South West Local Government area of Delta State.
But the source, who spoke on the heels of the NDA’s and Oporoza community’s denial of any meeting with Dalung, disclosed that the president has directed the National Security Adviser (NSA), Major General Mohammed Monguno (rtd) to “get to the root of the meeting.
“The first question Mr. President raised on the report that the minister visited the leadership of the Avengers and Oporoza community was, who authorised the visit? The question became necessary because neither the NSA nor the petroleum minister or even the military task force was aware of the minister’s trip to the area.
”One thing again is the fact that anything could have happened. And again, it raises the question that if government now knows who the leaders of the Avengers are, then what next? “Mr. President is unhappy over this and he directed the NSA to get to the root of the said meeting because it became more embarrassing when both the Avengers and the community are denying that they met with the minister,” the source told New Telegraph.
A community leader from Oporoza, Mr. Ekilegha Elvis, said the only person who visited the community was the head of an NGO who came with Jude Tabai to meet a few youths. "They said the man was an NGO man, he only met with some youths who were playing football, interacted with them and left without even seeing the traditional ruler,” he said.
Dalung, who spoke to some journalists at the end of a stakeholders’ meeting of the southern senatorial zone of Plateau State in Shendam, said he took a two-hour journey on the sea to Oporoza in Gbaramatu Kingdom where he met with the leadership of the NDA who gave him a sealed hand-written letter to deliver to President Muhammadu Buhari.