MEND accepts Avengers’ ceasefire, kicks against Clark heading negotiation team

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) on Monday night commended the decision of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) to cease hostilities and dialogue with the Federal Government, but gave condition for embracing it in peace talks.

It, however, opposed the involvement of former Federal Commissioner for Information and Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark, in the dialogue, threatening to pull out and disband Aaron Team 2 if government decides to hold a separate dialogue with the NDA team led by him.

A source close to Clark however said MEND does not exist and those using its name do not want peace.

“When was it declared by Chief Clark or NDA that Clark is leading an NDA delegation. He (Clark) convened a meeting of Niger Delta monarchs, leaders and stakeholders, which took a decision to set up a pan Niger Delta to in the mold of Afenifere and Arewa to advocate and speak with one voice on issues about Niger Delta coastal states.

“The NDA and other militant groups accepted the initiative of Niger Delta leaders, saying they believe that Clark would not sell out, what is really the problem of MEND? Why is it saying that Clark is the leader of NDA delegation when he is not?” the source, who said he did not have the mandate of the elder statesman to speak to journalists on the matter stated.

Also, a new militant group, Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM) yesterday rejected Clark’s involvement in negotiations with the Federal Government.

A statement issued on Monday by the spokesperson of the group, Aldo Agbalaja, accused Clerk and ex-president Goodluck Jonathan of humiliating the region more than previous administrations had done.

The group which restated its resolve to continue vandalising the oil pipelines in the country until the Buhari-led federal government meets their demands, however called on the government to rather negotiate with them through another dialogue group, NDDCG which has a touch of international agencies.

“We are also aware that there is a group, NDDCG, led by the Amanyanabo of Twon Brass, Alfred Diete-Spiff, which has the involvement of some international agencies, we would rather the federal government builds on this group to reach out to the genuine representatives of the peoples of the region, across the six states, to discuss the way forward because we believe what is worth doing at all is worth doing well.

“Build on this group and reach out to our people, not on an Edwin Clark group, which had connived with Jonathan in the past to subject this region, including the majority of our Ijaw brothers, to one of the most untold humiliations by leaving the region they claimed to be representing worse than it was under previous administrations.

“Enough of these buccaneers in the name of leaders of the region, our people from both the upland and the creeks deserve a better deal, not the Avengers kind of deal. We are serving a notice that the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate is still carrying on with this campaign against Nigeria’s oil and gas interest until the federal government does right.”

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