The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has declared that it has withdrawn its support and representatives from the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF).The announcement of withdrawal was made via a statement signed by Jomo Gbomo, the group’s spokesperson.
According to the statement, MEND pulled out of PANDEF after sniffing that the group’s leaders and are driven by commercial and political motives, which make them view PANDEF as a platform for a return to financial buoyancy and political relevance. It added that it was also motivated to exit PANDEF because of the lie told by Chief Clark to State House correspondents after the 3 August meeting between PANDEF and the Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo when Chief Clark said MEND was part of the parley despite the group not being represented.
MEND equally explained that it has lost confidence in the leadership of Chief Clark and King Alfred Diete-Spiff, who it said still crave power, wealth, and pleasure instead of grooming a new generation of leaders in the region.
“It is annoying working with pretenders, who conspired to keep silent when Goodluck Jonathan wasted the opportunity of the region and were part of the conspiracy to suppress the voice of Henry Okah and MEND. Today, they have suddenly realized that the East-West Road is in need of urgent repairs and is a shameful deathtrap, 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 six wasted years, these same members used the dilapidated road, lost loved ones there but said nothing,” claimed MEND.
Chief Clark, said the aggrieved group, had direct access to former President Jonathan, but did not advise him to develop the Niger Delta.
“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 Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),” said MEND.
It threatened to attack the hidden but illegally acquired assets. MEND added that the Niger Delta currently has state and federal universities in addition to the Maritime Academy in Oron, Akwa Ibom State, which was established in the early 80s. The militant group wondered why PANDEF should demand another maritime university if not as a to a ploy to conceal a fiancial crime.
The group said it will, in the interim, align with the new Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) under Mr. Oweilaemi and will continue challenging impostors. It added that it will cooperate with the Niger Delta People’s Congress (NDPC) and genuine militants desirous of change such as the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate.