Niger Delta struggle beyond attacks on oil pipelines, says MEND
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has declared that the Niger Delta struggle is beyond attacks on oil installations by the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).
MEND has also constituted ‘Aaron Team 2’ to dialogue with the Federal Government on the immediate, medium and long-term future of the Niger Delta region.
MEND spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo, in a statement yesterday night said on countless occasions within the past 10 years of the group’s existence, it has resorted to taking up arms against the Nigerian state and the International Oil Companies with a view to bringing to national and international attention, the pitiable paradox of the Niger Delta region.
But precisely at 00:00 hours on May 30, 2014; in response to former President Goodluck Jonathan’s Democracy Day speech of the previous day, unilaterally declared a ceasefire of hostilities against Nigeria’s key economic and strategic interests.
He said evidently, the ceasefire was an indication of the group’s belief that, in this present age and time, “iron and blood” might only become fashionable tools in settling questions when dialogue and diplomacy fail.
“Our message to the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) is simple: The Niger Delta struggle is beyond attacks on oil installations. Indeed, prior to the MEND ceasefire; the group had, among numerous daring attacks, on Thursday June 19, 2008 successfully carried out the spectacular attack on Royal Dutch Shell’s offshore Bonga oilfield which is located at a whooping distance of 120 kilometres (75miles) south-west of the Niger Delta.
“If indeed your cause is to avenge the injustice done to the Niger Delta region; then, we urge you to cease fire and join us to the table of negotiation with the Federal Government, otherwise, the Niger Delta struggle shall be hijacked, once again, by selfish interests for their own personal aggrandizement.”
MEND claimed that following useful exploratory discussions held with high ranking officials of the current administration, it has constituted ‘Aaron Team 2’ to dialogue with the Federal Government on the immediate, medium and long-term future of the Niger Delta region.
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