The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, has warned the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai against making political and provocative statements that could cause nationwide unrest.
In a statement by its spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo, MEND slammed the army chief over a comment credited to him that the military authorities would resort to the use of force if dialogue fails to resolve the current Niger-Delta crisis failed.
Gbomo said, “MEND hereby makes it clear that General Buratai’s statement is insensitive, provocative, unprofessional and prejudicial to the fair outcome of the ongoing preliminary talks regarding the Niger Delta crisis between representatives of oil companies and security agencies, on the one hand; and the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), on the other hand.
“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.”
Addressing its controversial dialogue with the federal government, MEND said, “We use this medium to appeal to the good people of the Niger Delta to remain patient with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
The group urged them to “keep hope alive as MEND and the Aaron Team 2 Dialogue, Peace and Development Initiative, led by Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, 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, are waiting on the sidelines to conclude the dialogue process,” it said.