WARRIâ€”IJAW Youth Council (IYC) started talks yesterday with leaders of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta (MEND), with a view to getting the militant group to stop further bombing of oil facilities in the region and accepting the amnesty proclamation of the Federal Government.
Vanguard gathered that the underground lobby was spearheaded by the national president of the IYC, Dr. Chris Ekiyor, who confirmed that he was in consultation with stakeholders and leaders of MEND on cessation of further hostilities.
His words: â€œIjaw Youth Council is calling on MEND to ceasefire forthwith, I am in consultation with the stakeholders and leaders of MEND and we have appealed to them to ceasefire while the council seeks avenue for dialogue with the government for peaceful resolution of the issues at stake.
â€œI am convinced that the MEND has made their point and proven to the government that using the Joint Task Force (JTF) on the Niger-Delta to hunt them will not solve the problem.
Having made their point, my position is that they should allow dialogue process to take place.â€
A top operative of MEND, â€œCommanderâ€ Boyloaf, who was contacted by Vanguard on the matter said, â€œI think it is better you find out from the appropriate channel of MENDâ€.
Another top militant leader, however, said, â€œyes, ceasefire is in the pipeline, a lot of people have intervened but it will only be for sometime to know what the government is up to”.
â€œRight now, it is only criminals that have surrendered their arms to the government and accepted amnesty.
The real freedom fighters are not asking for amnesty. What the government requires is ceasefire and not granting us amnesty; we are still monitoring them to know if they are sincere.â€