The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) on Sunday dissociated itself from what it called the “holier-than-thou and arrogant” attitude of the Pan-Niger Delta Group over the proposed Niger Delta Summit being convened by the federal government.
In a statement, it also condemned in very strong terms “the unstable, destructive and immature” behavior of the Niger Delta Avengers who, it says, 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 the government,” the statement said, adding that a boycott at this stage is rather hasty.
It said that considering that the current 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 program, 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, ought to 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 were 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,” the statement continued.
MEND added that it will remain in the Pan-Niger Delta Group in spite of the presence of people it called “vultures whose names have sprung up from nowhere,” to its surprise.
“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 at complete variance with the MEND principles which frowns on corruption by public officials and their spouses and places premium on integrity,” it further stated.