BY TORDUE SALEM
ABUJA – The South South caucus of former members of the House of Representatives has promised to engage the Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND, and ex-militants in peace talks in Abuja in a few days.
MEND had two days go threatened to detonate bombs in Lagos, Federal Capital Territory and some oil installations in the Niger Delta.
The promise to hold peace talks with the group came on the heels of the group’s “total support” for the candidacy of President Goodluck Jonathan and his vice, Architect Namadi Sambo, for the April 9 presidential elections.
The former lower chamber members equally condemned any form of threat or violence from any group ahead the April elections, as they contended that violence would not help the development of the country.
Addressing newsmen in Abuja, on behalf of other 40 members of the caucus, former Deputy Speaker, Mr. Austin Opara, said some of the former militants were in Abuja and that they were talking with them in respect of MEND’s threat, adding that all hands must be on deck to preach against violence ahead the forthcoming polls.
He also called on politicians to shun violence in the coming elections and work with INEC to ensure that the election was free, fair and credible.
Reading out the resolution of the caucus, Rt Hon Opara said: “We believe that Jonathan/Sambo ticket will provide the needed unity and stability for Nigeria’s development in this decade, as they are the most qualified and experienced team.
“Furthermore, being endowed with uncommon humility, they are role models to millions of Nigerian youths. Their programs, encourages increased participation of women in governance are well recognised,” he said.