An elder does not stay in the house and watch a pregnant goat deliver while tied to a tether, says an African proverb.

That is why an elder-statesman from the Niger Delta region has stepped in to stop the Niger Delta Avengers – a militant group – from resuming attacks on oil facilities.

The Avengers had on Friday said its ceasefire agreement with the federal government had ended and fresh negotiations should be held.

But Chief Edwin Clark, who leads the Pan Niger Delta Forum, PANDEF, which has been holding peace talks with the government since last year, called on the Avengers militant group to “be patient.”

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The Avengers, whose attacks last year wrought havoc on the nation’s oil output, promised on Friday a “brutish, brutal and bloody” return to violence because they said they had “lost faith” in local leaders to get what they wanted from the government.

“This is not the time to resume hostilities,” Clark said in a statement issued by the Presidential Amnesty Programme.

“It is true that the federal government has not been quite serious about the negotiations, but we are asking the Niger Delta Avengers to maintain the peace,” the statement said.

He added that PANDEF is sending a delegation to meet the group’s leaders.

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