By Emma Amaize
WARR I -Â MOVEMENT for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta (MEND) says it does not require the blessings of every militant leader in the region to constitute a negotiating team to present its demands to the Federal Government.
Spokesman of the group, Jomo Gbomo in an exclusive electronic mail response to Vanguard inquiry said, â€œWe do not need the total blessing and support of everyone to put together the Aaron team once this is approved by Henry Okah when he comes out, every other personâ€™s opinion becomes irrelevantâ€.
A top officer of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta (MEND), â€œGeneralâ€ Boyloaf had in an interview with Vanguard said leaders of militant groups in the region have not mandated anybody to set up a negotiating team with the Presidency on their behalf.
He was reacting to online statement by Jomo Gbomo that the militant group would inaugurate its own team of Aaron negotiators to pass its demands and expectations to the President through the new Special Adviser to the President on Niger-Delta, Mr. Timi Alaibe.
But â€œGeneralâ€ Boyloaf insisted the opinion of principal militant leaders in the zone were not sought before the announcement was made.
According to him, â€œIt will not work, a similar thing was tried in the past and it failed, I am not part of those constituting a team of negotiators to discuss anything. I have also contacted other leaders like Ateke Tom and they are not in support of itâ€.
â€œIf the government does not want to make a costly mistake, they should not accept any negotiating team until they speak with the key leaders to know if they are in support of itâ€, he said.