The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, has announced its withdrawal from the Pan Niger Delta Front, PANDEF.
PANDEF is a common platform used by the leaders of the troubled region to negotiate with the federal government for a peaceful settlement of the conflicts and the development of the area.
MEND in a statement issued on Sunday by Jomo Gbomo said it has withdrawn its support and representatives from PANDEF beginning from August 14.
“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,” the statement said.
“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 wasn’t represented,” the group said.
During the meeting with the Acting President Yemi Osinbajo, Mr. Clark apart from telling journalists that MEND was part of the meeting with Mr. Osinbajo, also said that they had an excellent discussion.
Mr. Clark also told journalists that PANDEF had decided to withdraw the ultimatum it had earlier given to the federal government.
MEND in its statement said they have lost confidence in Mr. Clark and Alfred Diete-Spiff who control the leadership of PANDEF.
The group likened the two men to the aging President of Zimbabwe, Robert Mugabe, adding that they “still crave for power, wealth, and pleasure to the detriment of developing the younger generation in leadership.”
“It is annoying working with pretenders who conspired to keep silent when (former President) Goodluck Jonathan wasted the opportunity of the region and were part of the conspiracy to suppress the voice of Henry Okah and MEND,” the group said.
“Today, the East West road they have suddenly realised that is in need of urgent repairs is a shameful death-trap which passes alongside oil wells and sits on top of huge gas reserves.
“PANDEF is demanding for the road to be completed but during the 6 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 assets they have acquired are now forfeited to the region or the EFCC. Those ill-gotten assets cleverly hidden from the EFCC that we discover will be attacked and burnt to the ground.”
MEND questioned the wisdom of building a new maritime university in Delta State when the Niger Delta region already has the Maritime Academy of Nigeria in Oron, Akwa Ibom State.
The group said in the interim it was aligning itself with the new Ijaw Youth Council, IYC, under the leadership of Oweilaemi Pereotubo.
“We will also cooperate with the Niger Delta People’s Congress (NDPC) and genuine militants desiring change such as the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, who have shown consistency in doing away with the old order,” the group said.