The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has urged the federal government to ignore the outcome of the meeting of the Niger Delta Coastal States, which held in Warri on Friday. The meeting was jointly convened by former Information Minister Edwin Clark and Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.
A statement issued by the group and signed by Mudoch Agbinigbo said MEND is in full support of the ongoing military action in the Niger Delta and categorically urged the federal government to ignore the communique released at the end of the meeting convoked by Mr. Clark and Mr. Okowa for a number of reasons.
The first, said MEND, was that the communique failed to categorically condemn the activities of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA). This, reasoned MEND, was because Mr. Clark is a major promoter of the NDA, as was recently claimed by the Reformed Niger Delta Avengers (RNDA).
MEND also contended that Mr. Clark lacks the moral authority to lead a discussion on the re-structuring of the country.
"Throughout the six years his 'son,' former President Goodluck Jonathan, was in power, the elder statesman kept mute and actively participated in the economic dismemberment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. In fact, Chief Clark's Abuja residence was an extension of the State House," said MEND.
The group also based its call on the government to ignore the outcome of the meeting because none of those in attendance have the capacity to persuade the Niger Delta people to support the current Federal Government initiatives to bring peace to the region.
"None of the persons who attended the stakeholders meeting convened by Chief Clark and Governor Okowa have the capacity to persuade the people of the Niger Delta region to support the current efforts of the Buhari administration to bring peace and development to the region," the group said.
MEND also said it is planning a tour of the region to canvass support for the federal government in an exercise code-named "Operation Moses."
MEND further argued that as long as elders and stakeholders do not publicly denounce the NDA, the federal government should also continue to ignore them.