The Niger Delta Avengers blew up the Bonny 48 inches crude oil Export Line in Port Harcourt, on Friday night, consequently ending the ceasefire it declared in August, with spokesman Mudoch Agbinibo saying that was “just a wake-up call”.
“This action is a signature to the over-dramatisation of the so-called dialogue and negotiation process on the side of President Muhammadu Buhari and his government,” he said on Saturday.
“Since, the cessation of hostilities and the commitment of the PAN Niger Delta Elders and stakeholders team, the Nigerian government and her agents are turning the expectations of the Niger Delta to shameful scenes obtainable in Nollywood acts and as well intimidation, blackmails and continuous profiling of Niger Delta sons and daughters. This is only a wake up call; we may not have other way to say it better.”
But MEND finds the attack “immature” and has dissociated itself from the “arrogant attitude” of the NDA.
“The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) dissociates itself from the ‘holier than thou’ and arrogant attitude of the Pan-Niger Delta Group over the proposed Niger Delta Summit convened by the Federal Government,” it said.
“MEND also condemns in very strong terms the unstable, destructive and immature behaviour of the Niger Delta Avengers who resume hostilities at the slightest lame excuse.
“We believe that the right approach would have been to attend this Summit as a precursor to future intensive interactions and dialogue with government. A boycott at this stage, in our opinion was rather hasty.
“Considering that this government has been open to the subject of dialogue with a people whose majority sold their birth rights for monthly stipends under a fraudulent amnesty programme, whose elders, traditional rulers, tribal assemblies, political class, activists and clergy turned a blind eye and kept mute during the six years of plenty and unmitigated corruption and looting while their own son and daughter were at the helm.
“The Pan-Niger Delta Group on behalf of the Niger Delta people should go to the Summit in shame and sober reflection while singing the praise of President Buhari like the women of Israel sang in praise of David.
“All we are demanding from the present administration today are valid issues during the past administration of a son of the soil, Dr Goodluck Jonathan, which were never seen as urgent during his tenure to be addressed. MEND will remain in the Pan-Niger Delta Group in spite of the presence of some vultures whose names have sprung up from nowhere to our surprise.”
It also commented on recent support by militants for Patience Jonathan, who is being investigated by the Economic and Fincancial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over the source of $20million in her Skye Bank accounts, MEND said:
“We use this opportunity to notify the general public that the former secretary of the disbanded MEND AARON TEAM 2, Mr. Timipa Jenkins Okponipere, who was named alongside Messrs. Ledum Mitee and Ibanga Isine to represent the group in the Chief Clark-led Pan-Niger Delta Group has been dropped due to differences that are in complete variance with the MEND principles, which frown on corruption by public officials and their spouses and places premium on integrity.”
Edwin Clark, leader of the Pan Niger Delta Coastal States Stakeholders Consultative Forum, had rejected the federal government’s proposition of a two-day summit in the region.
Instead, he urged the US government to prevail on President Muhammadu Buhari to abide by his earlier agreement to dialogue with militants in the region.