The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta on Sunday lamented that the Federal Government had refused to meet the ceasefire conditions the group reached with the government, especially the release of the Okah brothers – Henry and Charles, who are being tried for felony.
The group, however, said the Chief Edwin Clark-led Pan Niger Delta Group, which is to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari towards finding a lasting solution to the Niger Delta crisis, enjoyed its blessings.
MEND, in a statement signed by its spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, said although they had kept their own side of the bargain by reaching out to the various militant groups in the region and prevailing on the militants to accept a ceasefire, the Federal Government had not been meeting the terms reached before the ceasefire.
It urged the President Buhari-led government to respect the agreement ahead of the October 31 meeting with Niger Delta leaders at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.
It said, “The Federal Government, Nigerians and the international community would certainly agree that as part of these concerted patriotic efforts by MEND within the preceding six months of this year, relative peace has since returned to the Niger Delta region. The country’s oil and gas production capacity has also increased tremendously.
“However, in spite of MEND’s efforts, the Federal Government has yet to keep to the terms of the agreement reached with the group. Indeed, one of the key concessions secured by MEND was that the Federal Government would release certain political prisoners, including but not limited to the Okah brothers – Henry and Charles.
“Nevertheless, with the news of the forthcoming meeting between President Buhari and the Chief Clark-led Pan Niger Delta Group, we are confident that the concessions already secured by MEND shall be respected by the Federal Government.”
It called on the members of the Chief Clark’s dialogue team to put aside personal interests and remain steadfast towards bringing lasting peace and development to the oil-rich region.