MEND accuses President Buhari of insincerity in FG/militant dialogue

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) says it will no longer support the President Muhammadu Buhari administration. The decision of the former militant group to withdraw its support is based on its conviction that the Federal Government is playing politics with the issue of dialogue and development in the Niger Delta.

MEND disclosed this on Sunday, January 1, in a statement issued by its spokesman, Jomo Gbomo.
According to the statement, after Buhari's meeting with the leaders of the region led by Chief Edwin Clark in 2016, the President has not made any significant move on peace initiatives in the oil-rich region.
It said: "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 hereby categorically and unequivocally pass a 'vote of no confidence' in 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 the Pan Niger Delta Forum 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."

MEND said Buhari has always held the Niger Delta region in contempt, adding that the President accuses and blackmails "the leadership of the region of not being ready for dialogue whereas, it is the Federal Government who is not ready or willing to name a team for dialogue with the people."
The group also alleged that Federal Government failed to honour the agreement it reached before it agreed to announce a ceasefire with militants in the region.
The statement added: "Prior to the inauguration of PANDEF, the several sessions of dialogue held between representatives of MEND, on the one hand, and those of the Federal Government, on the other hand, where concessions were secured for the release of the Okah brothers and several other political detainees and prisoners of conscience were grand deception on the part of the Federal Government.
"That after the MEND/FG dialogue, which was publicly confirmed by no less a person than President Buhari in his farewell remarks to Mr. Michael Zinner, the out-going German Ambassador to Nigeria, President Buhari reneged on the agreements reached at the dialogue.
"And following on the heels of the breach of the agreements, President Buhari personally wrote and signed a damaging and prejudicial letter to the government of South Africa in an attempt to wilfully truncate the ongoing peace process in Nigeria; sabotage the legal options open to Henry Okah and simultaneously influence the ongoing trial of Charles Okah and others at the Federal High Court in Abuja, in favour of the Federal Government."