Some Niger Deltans activists, under the “High Command of Joint Revolutionary Council of Niger Delta,” have asserted that anyone claiming to be acting in the name of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) is an impostor because MEND was disbanded in 2009 by its alleged leaders following their acceptance of a Presidential Amnesty offer.
“People should advise those who use the name of MEND to threaten and score cheap political points to desist from traveling on that doomed path that only leads to oblivion and destruction,” the activists said in a statement sent to media by their spokesman, Bakabio Walter.
The group denounced the announcement by the so-called MEND to attack Muslims and mosques, as well as the amnesty being proposed for the Boko Haram sect.
“It is about two years now since Goodluck Jonathan was elected as President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Nigerian State,” the statement said, describing the period as being characterized by all manners of medieval barbarism; prominent of which are the acts of terrorism of Boko Haram claims.
It warned that terrorist groups are investigated, exposed, confronted, defeated and annihilated just as the United States has promised in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings.
“Anything short of that will mean conceding defeat and declaring victory in their favour. It is the duty of the Nigerian Authority to bring the perpetrators of terrorism to justice and not dialogue with or grant amnesty to terrorists,” it said, stressing that the offer of a Presidential Amnesty to terrorists therefore falls short of international norms and best practices.
“It is in this light that we in the Revolutionary Command of the Joint Revolutionary Council of Niger Delta condemn all the pressures being put on Goodluck Jonathan by the political north to grant unconditional amnesty to all the terrorists of the Boko Haram stock. Consequently, we call on him to beware as this may be “the voice of Jacob and the hand of Esau”. The purported rejection of a possible amnesty offer by the self-acclaimed leader of the terrorist group is a pointer to the direction that those who are advocating for the Presidential Amnesty offer are definitely not in touch with the terrorists but are only queuing up to make political and other capital out of it.
The group said that what Nigeria needs now is a national dialogue in the form of a Sovereign National Conference (SNC).
“This is the missing link in the peace effort in the Niger Delta,” the group argued. “Then people thought that the mere declaration of a Presidential Amnesty offer without a corresponding comprehensive process was capable of permanently ending the agitating mode of the region; the contrary has been proven.”
It stressed that the responsibility of protecting lives and properties, including bringing terrorists to justice is that of government, the primary purpose of government that nobody should arrogate that to themselves.
“Somebody claiming to represent Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) threatened to avenge the massacre of innocent civilians by terrorists in the north by bombing mosques, killing Muslim clerics, etc. I wish to make it abundantly clear that it is not their place to do that. Whoever issued that statement must be an impostor as MEND was disbanded in 2009 by its alleged leaders following their acceptance of a Presidential Amnesty offer. People should advise those who use the name of MEND to threaten and score cheap political points to desist from traveling on that doomed path that only leads to oblivion and destruction.”