The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has claimed that as a part of negotiation deal on Niger Delta crisis the government of Muhammadu Buhari agreed to release the leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu.
Vanguard reports that according to the agreement, other imprisoned militants to be freed are Henry Okah, a MEND chieftain serving a jail sentence in South Africa, Charles Okah, and Obi Nwabueze.
The statement revealed that Kanu and other detained IPOB activists would be discharged on condition that they renounce their agitation for secession.
Former senator Adolphus Wabara had reportedly introduced the compromise to secure the release of the pro-Biafran activists.
MEND also noted that the government’s treaters had agreed not to arrest or harass fugitive Niger Delta war lord Government Ekpemupolo (popularly known as Tompolo), “whenever he makes himself available as a delegate of the MEND Aaron Team 2.”
The movement also demanded the government to review the life sentence bounded on Edmund Ebiware.
The group further announced itself the only militant group from the region currently involved in a dialogue with the incumbent administration continuing that oil companies and security agencies were representing the government in negotiations aimed at brokering peace in the region which has witnessed increasing attacks on oil facilities since President Buhari’s inauguration last year.
MEND noted that the deal called for a review of “criminal charges against Urhobo freedom fighter, Mr. Kelvin Prosper Oniarah,” and the review of life sentences handed to seven soldiers in 2008 for supporting the Niger Delta battle. The soldiers include Major Suleiman Alabi Akubo, Sergeant Mathias Peter, Lance Corporal Alexander Davou, Lance Corporal Moses Nwaigwe, Lance Corporal Nnandi Anene, Lance Corporal Taatihi Emmanuel, and Private Caleb Bawa.
Should the Niger Delta Avengers refuse to stop attacks on oil and gas facilities MEND seemed to back military reprisals against them.
The statement reads: “One of the most immediate and urgent fall-outs of the ongoing dialogue is the imperative for the federal government and MEND to jointly and separately take proactive steps to rescue and secure the region in the event that the recalcitrant Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) continue on their senseless and politically-motivated path of attacks on the country’s oil assets.
“To this end, both parties agreed that the special forces of the Nigerian army should commence the purely routine but strategic military exercise code-named ‘Operation Crocodile Tears’; while MEND would commence a meet-the Government-Actors-and-People tour of the Niger Delta region code-named ‘Operation Moses.
“While ‘Operation Crocodile Tears’ is aimed at ensuring the combat readiness of the Nigerian Army in Amphibious and Internal Security Operations in the Niger Delta as well as check criminal activities like kidnapping, pipeline vandalism, piracy and other forms of criminal activities spearheaded by the NDA in the region, MEND’s ‘Operation Moses’ is essentially to inform, educate and generally sensitize the citizenry in the Niger Delta, particularly the Government, the youth, oil companies, elders and militant community on the need to ceasefire and support the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration in its determined bid to proffer sustainable solutions to the current Niger Delta crisis.”
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