MEND Part Ways With Buhari Says FG Playing Politics With Niger Delta Dialogue
In what seems like apparent distrust between the Buhari administration and the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), the defunct militant group on Sunday withdrew its support for the present administration alleging that the Buhari government was playing politics with the group.
This is coming barely a year after the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta gave its absolute support for the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.
The spokesman of the defunct militant group, Jomo Gbomo, stated this in an electronic statement issued on Sunday where it passed a vote of no confidence on the federal government, accusing her of playing politics with the issue of dialogue and development of the region.
MEND said since the time President Buhari met with the leadership of the Pan Niger Delta Forum under the headship of Chief Edwin Clark on November 1, 2016, some top government functionaries in Buhari’s administration had been ‘arrogantly’ making controversial, prejudicial, conflicting and contradictory statements about the issue of finding lasting peace in the region.
According to the release, “Without prejudice to the pre-2015 Presidential election endorsement freely and voluntarily given to President Muhammadu Buhari on January 6, 2015, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) hereby categorically and unequivocally pass a ‘vote of no confidence’ on the government of President Buhari.
“That prior to and after his reluctant meeting with the traditional rulers, opinion leaders and stakeholders of the Niger Delta region, under the auspices of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) on November 1, 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari has been carrying on arrogantly and making controversial, prejudicial, conflicting and contradictory statements about the politics and economy of the oil-rich region.”
The statement lamented that President Buhari has always, for reasons best known to him, held the Niger Delta region in contempt “while accusing and/or blackmailing the leadership of the region of not being ready for dialogue whereas it is the Federal Government who are not ready or willing to name a team to dialogue with the people.”
It alleged that the government had failed to honour concessions reached before it agreed to announce a ceasefire with militants in the region including the release of the Okah brothers and several other political detainees and prisoners of conscience under a grand deception by the current government.