* DismissÂ Bayelsa arms surrender
By Emma Amaize
Warri – MOVEMENT for the EmancipationÂ Â of the Niger-Delta (MEND)Â threatened yesterday to resume attacks on the oil industry at the end of its ceasefire on September 15, accusing government of bribing militants with money instead of deliberating on the real issues involved on the Niger-Delta struggle.
The militant group, which dismissed the handover of arms in Bayelsa State yesterday by its former commander, â€œGeneralâ€ Boyloaf, and other militant leaders as a charade, also announced discontinuation of talks with the special adviser to President Umaru Yarâ€™Adua on Niger-Delta matters, Mr. Timi Alaibe, on account of governmentâ€™s insincerity.
Its spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, in an electronic mail statement, said the militant group was not prepared to enter into any talks with Niger-Delta governors who, according to him,Â had tainted the amnesty programme with monetary inducements and politics.
His words: â€œThe ongoing amnesty programme by the government of Nigeria seems to have achieved separating those who still have the zeal to fight for our freedom from those who were in it forÂ money.
â€œToday (yesterday), Saturday, August 22, that sorting process was re-enacted in Yenagoa, BayelsaÂ State where weapons mostly bought by the government were displayed and the boys separated from the men in the circus.
The charade witnessed in Bayelsa is not an indication of success but that of failure considering that the energy put into that event could have been better used in deliberating on the root issues collated in the Niger Delta Technical Committee report which addressed such germane issues from the Willinkâ€™s Commission of 1958 to date.
â€œIn the midst of such sheer deceit, MEND will be compelled to resume with ferocious attacks on the oil industry at the end of our ceasefire on September 15, 2009 to prove that weapons being displayed are mostly government-owned and those surrendering them have not been part of the previous campaigns like Hurricanes Barbarossa, Piper Alpha and Moses that brought the government to their knees.
We have also suspended talks with the special adviser to the president on amnesty, Timi Alaibe, who, like the government, expects disarmament without the real issues being addressed.
â€œMEND will not enter into talks with governors from the regions that have tainted the amnesty programme with politics and monetary inducements. Many of the boys who have received money today (yesterday) will at best squander it on material things and what happens next can best be left to their imagination.
Our solemn pledge to the people of the Niger Delta still remains to emancipate the region from the forces that have held it down for over 50 years with divide and rule, monetary inducements and treachery.â€