The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has instituted a negotiation team to dialogue with the Federal Government on the future of the Niger Delta region.
In a statement signed by its spokesman, Jomo Gbomo on Sunday, the group said the formation of the team was based on discussions held with top members of the government in power.
Members of the team include Henry Odein Ajumogobia SAN (Rivers); Bismark Rewane (Delta); Sen. Florence Ita-Giwa (Cross River); Timipa Jenkins Okponipere (Bayelsa); Ibanga Isine (Akwa Ibom); Ledum Mitee (Rivers); and Lawson Omokhodion (Edo State).
MEND also called on the Niger Delta Avengers to bury its sword and join the negotiations.
Part of the statement reads, “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.”
However, after the successful completion of each mission, the problems of the region still remained gaping and it was therefore important to explore other options.
“If indeed your cause is to avenge the injustice done to the Niger Delta region; then, we urge you to ceasefire 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,”.
“One such example is the recent purported NDA demand made through the region’s governors that the Federal Government should drop charges of corruption against certain individuals and politicians from the region. This absurd and ridiculous demand, to say the least, is far removed from the Niger Delta struggle.”