Ovie Okpare, Warri
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta on Sunday accused some leaders of the Pan Niger Delta Forum including Chief Edwin Clark and HRH, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, of using the forum to seek political relevance and bounce back to life financially.
MEND, which also announced its withdrawal as a member of PANDEF, a forum of various ethnic nationality leaders in the Niger Delta, said it was “annoying working with pretenders who conspired to keep silent when Goodluck Jonathan wasted the opportunity of the region.”
The defunct militant group in a statement on Sunday by its spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, also revealed that MEND as group had lost confidence in Ijaw National Leader, Chief Clark and King Diete-Spiff leadership of the forum.
It noted that MEND would cease to be a member of the PANDEF beginning from today (Monday) and not also partake in its activities henceforth.
Gbomo stated, “Our decision to abandon PANDEF stems from the commercial and political motives of the leaders and most of the members who now see the platform as a means to bounce back financially and politically. It is also as a result of the lie told by Chief Clark to State House correspondents after the PANDEF volte-face meeting with the Acting President on Thursday, August 3, 2017, where he said that MEND was part of the parley when the group was not represented.
“…Today, the East West Road they have suddenly realised that is in need of urgent repairs is a shameful deathtrap which passes alongside oil wells and sits on top of huge gas reserves. PANDEF is demanding that the road should be completed but during the six wasted years, these same members used the dilapidated road, lost loved ones there but said nothing, engaging instead on worthless pleasures, with the Abuja residence of Chief Clark as the rallying point.
“Chief Clark who had direct access to his “son,” Goodluck Jonathan, did not advise the former President to address the root issues and develop the region. Many sons and daughters who enriched themselves, including the current PANDEF leaders have no single viable industry built in the Niger Delta to show for it,” the statement added.
Reacting to MEND accusation, Clark in a telephone chat with our correspondent, dismissed the allegations saying, “A man of my age, what political relevance am I seeking? To become what? To become President of Nigeria or to become governor of Delta State or to become a senator which I have been?
“That’s very irresponsible. They (MEND) don’t exist. Their own representatives whom they sent to us and had been attending meeting on their behalf are still with us. Who are the people that are withdrawing? Is it Charles or Henry Okah who are in prison? We don’t want to take issues with them.”
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