MEND issues two -week ultimatum
Militants threaten more attacks
By Emma Amaize,
Regional Editor, South-South
THE Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, yesterday, gave the Federal Government a two-week ultimatum to respond to the demand for dialogue on the Niger Delta question or it would safely assume that government only responds to threat of violence and industrial action.
This came on a day the Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, accused the Federal Government of inconsistency in its bid to resolve the problem of renewed militancy in the Niger Delta.
Also yesterday, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s statement that the Federal Government would not discuss with the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, and other militant groups in the Niger Delta to resolve the issues connected to renewed military in the oil-rich region, triggered a response from some militancy groups who said they would step up the bombing of oil and gas installations in their respective towns and villages.
One of them, Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders, which claimed responsibility for the attack on the Brass Creek manifold at Peretorugbene community, Bayelsa State, last week, said it had given security personnel and expatriates working in Beni-seide and Ogbotebe , Tunu flow stations in Bayelsa an ultimatum to vacate the area or face its wrath.
MEND, in a statement by its spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo, gave the reason it opted for dialogue and constituted Aaron Team 2, including ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, to discuss with the federal government and others on the way forward for the region, but regretted that government was obfuscating the Niger Delta crisis.
It indicated that the group was not prepared to dialogue with the National Security Adviser, NSA, because his office does not have executive power, saying the issues surrounding the Niger Delta question were on the exclusive legislative list, and the proposed dialogue was not an interrogatory session.
The statement read: “The attention of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has been drawn to an article titled: ‘President Buhari Sharpens Focus On Niger Delta,’ written by Mr. Garba Shehu, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity.
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