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Vanguard (Nigeria): Militants halt hostilities against Shell

By Emma Amaize
Posted to the Web: Friday, November 24, 2006

WARRI —IDUWINI  Volunteer Force (IVF), a militant group in Bayelsa State, which has troubled the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in recent times over alleged non-implementation of Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), yesterday, suspended its planned hostilities against the company following the intervention of the Bayelsa State Government.

Self-styled Commander of the IVF, Johnson Biboye in an e-mail message to Vanguard confirming the truce said: “Based on the plea of government as explained to us by the President of IVF, Prince Gift Tare, the SPDC is now given the permission to resume operation in all her installations in Iduwini Kingdom while all issues that led to the face-off are been looked into.”

He said that the group after its meeting on Wednesday, which lasted for five hours, also directed all IVF militants to stop all further hostilities while we await government plans to address all verifiable grievances.”

According to him, the IVF also commended the Bayelsa Governor, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan for his determination to find a lasting peace to the issues that led to this face-off.

Besides dropping their arms, he said, the IVF fighters would henceforth confront any other group, “Which is not Iduwini-oriented that comes to cause serious confusion in our area in the name of fighting for our people.”

Vanguard learnt that the enlarged meeting of the IVF at which the above decisions were taken was attended by all the key officials of the militant group. The IVF president who was accompanied to the meeting by group’s spokesman, Mr. Francis Edolor who took time to explain all the issues that were discussed with top government officials at an earlier meeting in Government House, Yenogoa.

He informed the group of the genuine desire of the Governor Jonathan to find a lasting solution to the face-off between the IVF and SPDC and other oil/gas companies working in the Iduwini area.

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