A UK official has denied allegations that Britain invited Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and members of militant groups to London for secret talks on how to halt renewed violence in the oil-rich Niger Delta region.
A Press and Public Affairs Officer at the British High Commission in Abuja, Joe Abuku, said these claims were incorrect as Buhari was in London for a medical treatment.
“We are aware that President Buhari is currently in London seeking medical attention. We are not aware of any meetings on the Niger Delta while he is there,” Abuku told the Vanguard newspaper.
Earlier in June, rumours spread that Buhari was spending 10 days in London to hold “secret talks” with militants and not to rest and treat an ear infection as previously claimed.
A source close to IBTimes UK confirmed the rumour and alleged former members of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) were travelling to London to attend secret talks.
The source also added talks could result in the release of pro-Biafran leader Nnamdi Kanu – who is standing trial in Nigeria on six counts of treasonable felony charges – in exchange for a ceasefire. IBTimes UK could not independently verify the claims.