Lawson Omokhodion declines membership of MEND team
Sir: Recently, my name was listed as the Edo State representative in the Aaron 2 negotiating team proposed by MEND to dialogue with Federal Government on how to secure a peaceful Niger Delta region. Though I was contacted by persons I respect, I made it clear that I neither knew MEND nor the Avengers and I will not endorse the destruction of national assets in the name of militancy.
However, I agreed that if the negotiating team was acceptable to the Federal Government I would gladly be part of it. I also made it abundantly clear that the terms of reference of the engagement would enable me take a final position on the nomination.
Several days have passed since I was contacted but the terms of reference and a discussion framework for the MEND Aaron 2 negotiating team are still not available. I, therefore, believe that the effusion of time has rendered my nomination on the negotiating team nugatory. As a pacifist I believe every move to bring to peace any geographical zone of this country is good intentioned. I therefore, wish MEND well in the effort to secure peace for a true and sustainable economic and political transformation.
In view of the foregoing I have decided to decline my nomination as part of the MEND Aaron 2 negotiating team. I am a law abiding citizen of Nigeria. I abhor violence and appeal to those who employ violence as a means to solve their problems to think again. I do not support the destruction of our crown jewels for any reason whatsoever. I believe in the indivisibility of a sovereign and strong Nigeria. I have been outside the country attending a Pan-African regional conference and I have just returned to issue this statement.
Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria.