YENAGOA – THE Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, indicated on Wednesday that the supposed Federal Government banter with the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, which both claimed to be dialogue with Niger Delta militants, was simply a monologue.
Avengers in an exclusive online interview with Vanguard reechoed that MEND does not represent militants in the region and those promoting it were APC chieftains in the region, including a former governors and a group of ex-militant leaders with some northern power brokers looking for relevance and appointment from government.
It spoke just as former Minister of Police Affairs, Alaowei Brodrick Bozimo, told Vanguard on phone that Ijaw national leader, Chief Edwin Clark, never opined at a consultative meeting of the Ijaw leaders, weekend, in Warri, Delta state, that any discussion with militants without the involvement of Niger Delta elders was a nullity.
“What Clark said is that the Federal Government should include Niger Delta elders and leaders in its dialogue with militants in order to achieve a meaningful result. I was there at the meeting, he said there should dialogue but it should be done with the appropriate persons,” he said.
In spite of Bozimo’s clarification, a group, Voice Delta, opposed to the violent agitation of NDA, declared that MEND was constructively engaging government and slammed Chief Clark and his group for their insistence that discussion with MEND was unacceptable.
The group in series of tweets said MEND has made a considerable inroad in the ongoing dialogue with militants and urged President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore Chief Clark.
The Avengers, however, made it clear that its path would not cross with MEND as far as the struggle was concerned.
Its words: “From all reality checks to date, all members of the defunct MEND have remained disbanded as a group. The current paper and internet- based platform called MEND is orchestrated by some APC political thugs and criminal elements from the Niger Delta region and some Northern politicians…”
“So the currently re-branded and rearmed MEND is only speaking for the political interest of some APC chieftains that are looking for relevance/ appointment, and so the NDA and the people of the Niger Delta cannot be part of any dialogue imitated by them.
“A careful look at the underlying factors behind the resurrection of this new media-MEND, one cannot but only see the release of Mr. Henry Okah, Charles Okah and Edmund Ebiwari as their main agenda,” it said.