June 22, 2024

Rivers crisis: Ex-MEND, MADND warlords kick against call for emergency rule

Rivers crisis

By Jimitota Onoyume

•Say It’s a joke taken too far

Ex-militant leaders under the aegis of Movement for Actualization of Dreams of Niger Deltans, MADND and commanders of the defunct Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND, have kicked against the call on President Bola Tinubu to declare a state of emergency in Rivers state, describing it as a joke taken too far.

A communique at the end of a crucial meeting of the ex-militant leaders in Warri, Delta state said the recent call by the Caretaker committee Chairman of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Rivers state, Mr Tony Okocha for a state of emergency in Rivers state would destabilize the Niger Delta region if implemented, urging the president to ignore it.

The communique was signed by Josiah Oyakonghan alias Commander Oyimi 1, Chairman of MADND/former Warlord of MEND, Sokere Ekpos, Secretary General of MADND/former Warlord of MEND,
Ekpeperekumor Perekeme, Publicity Secretary of MADND/former Warlord of MEND, Freedom Ochuko alias Pressure, PRO of MADND / former Warlord of MEND, Commander Godsgift Rume, Adviser of MADND/former Warlord of MEND and Dennis Ejiro, Chief Protocol of MADND.

They further congratulated Mr President on his one year in office, pledging support for his peace-building measures even as they hailed the appointment of Dr Dennis Otuaro as the Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, PAP.

The communique read in parts:

“Mr President: Recent developments in the Niger Delta, with particular reference to Rivers State, call for the concern of all well-meaning Nigerians. Mr. President as a group that is obsessed with the development and focused governance of the Niger Delta, this appeal becomes expedient as a result of the peculiarity in the Niger Delta. In our strong view if not holistically managed will snowball to economic disaster, which will destabilize the reforms your administration is putting in place to stabilize and revamp our already dead economy. We say this because chaos in Rivers State will be chaotic for the other Niger Delta States.

“Hence, we implore you as a democrat to take expeditious actions in resolving the torrent political crises in Rivers State. We note in dismay, the calls by some overzealous politicians for you to enforce the Proclamation Of State Of Emergency. Mr President the call by the APC Caretaker Committee Chairman, Chief Tony Okocha for the federal government to declare a state of emergency is laughable, and callous and has unravelled their hidden motives to continuously create tension, cause instability and worsen the crisis, which ordinarily ought not to be.

“Rivers people voted you massively and the least they expect is good governance engendering peace and stability and not the unpatriotic act of some political traducers.

“Therefore, we are pleading with our amiable and dynamic President, not to listen to the likes of Chief Tony Okocha and his undemocratic call for the federal government to declare a state of emergency. Indeed, this is a joke taken too far.

“We know Mr. President will not fall into this trap because; Mr. President is sensitive, and is blessed with the wisdom to tackle issues like this.

“We commend Mr. President once again for the well-deserved appointment of High Chief (Dr) Dennis Brutu Otuaro as Administrator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme. We, therefore, appeal to all stakeholders and beneficiaries of the Amnesty Programme to wholeheartedly give their support and encouragement to the High Chief (Dr.) Dennis Brutu Otuaro to drive and usher in meaningful contributions for the betterment of the Programme.”