The Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), says they are ready to dialogue with the Federal government to bring an end to the hostilities in the Niger Delta region. According to The Nation, the group said this in a statement released by its Spokesman, Gbomo Jomo today Monday June 13th.
MEND says members of its negotiation team that will meet with the Federal government delegation will 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).
The group called on its rival militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, to drop their arms and come to the negotiation table with the Federal government. Their statement in part reads
“With the benevolent benefit of hindsight, the group realised that, after the initial euphoria of each successful attack, the gargantuan problems which confront our region; including environmental pollution and political corruption, increased geometrically. 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. 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,” he said.