Niger Delta group, The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has criticized the recent statement uttered by the Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, claiming the army would use force on Nger Delta militants if they fail to embrace the proposed peace offering from the Presidency.
The General Officer commanding, 82 division, Ibrahim Attahiru who was representing the army chief had earlier on Monday, July 25th said, “Government is still committed to dialogue and where this cannot go on – then there could be resort to other means.”
“The non-kinetic (force) means has always been the source first before government can recourse to the kinetic means. So, there is need for the Niger Delta Avengers to see reason and dialogue with government.”
This seem not to go down well with MEND and on Tuesday, July 26 they responded describing the statement as “insensitive, provocative, unprofessional and prejudicial to the fair outcome of the ongoing preliminary talks”.
“The attention of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has been drawn to a statement made in Port Harcourt on Monday July 25, 2016 by the Chief of Army Staff Lt. General Tukur Buratai to the effect that the Nigerian military authorities will resort to the use of force if dialogue to resolve the current Niger Delta crisis fails,” Jomo Gbomo, the group’s spokesman said a statement issued.
“We therefore warn the Chief of Army Staff to guard his utterances, refrain from making political and inflammatory statements and stick to his primary responsibility.
“We use this opportunity to appeal to the good people of the Niger Delta to remain patient with the Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and keep hope alive, as MEND and the Aaron Team 2 Dialogue, Peace and Development Initiative led by Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, SAN and HRH King Alfred Papapreye Diette-Spiff are working assiduously to secure sustainable concessions for the region from the Government.
“While MEND has already kick-started the dialogue process with the ongoing preliminary talks, the Aaron Team, made up of distinguished and accomplished personalities from the region, is waiting on the sidelines to conclude the dialogue process.
“Long live Niger Delta…Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria!”
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