President Bola Tinubu has reportedly put a stop to former Niger Delta militant leaders visiting him in the presidential villa, Abuja.
According to Leadership, the presidency has disapproved requests for courtesy visits by notable militant leaders and ethnic militias from the oil-rich region to Tinubu in the villa.
Reports claimed that the decision was made after the visit by the leader of the defunct Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, (NDPVF), Alhaji Mujarhedeen Asari-Dokubo, on June 16.
The president was allegedly disturbed by the public utterances and actions of Asari-Dokubo after visiting him in the presidential villa.
Sources in the presidency told the aforementioned publication that Dokubo’s outbursts against the military within the vicinity of the villa gave the inkling that the president shared the same views with the notable ex-militant commander.
The source said, “The president has given a directive that he would not like to meet any Niger Delta warlord or ethnic militia after the horrible experience when he granted an audience to Mujarhedeen Asari-Dokubo. You know the man Asari is a strong supporter and adherent of Mr. President. But the management of the fallout of his visit to the Villa was a nightmare to the Presidency.
“You can recall that he came out of the president’s office to lampoon the Armed Forces, accusing its personnel of being the arrow heads of illegal bunkering in the Niger Delta. He has been seen arrogantly going about with many gun-wielding youths, boasting about the prowess of his private army to deal with constituted authorities, including the military and a sitting governor, precisely Rivers State Governor, Mr. Fubara.”
Meanwhile, the special adviser on media and publicity to the president, Ajuri Ngelale said that he is not aware of the issue, let alone, the president’s directive on the matter.
“I have not heard any of such speculation going around within the State House. While we appreciate the desire for intriguing reportage, I think we should avoid speculative assumptions that have no verifiable basis in fact,” Ngelale.