This may be good music to the ears of the federal government as the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, a militant group that was responsible for many attacks on oil pipelines in the Delta region, has condemned the continuous spate of attacks on oil and gas pipelines by the new armed militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers.
The Avengers were said to have been involved the recent attacks on the Agip pipeline in Bayelsa State on Sunday, Chevron pipelines two weeks ago, and Escravos pipeline on Friday in Warri, Delta State. These attacks are helping the Avengers to fulfill their aim of slowing down economic activity in the country.
In a statement Sunday signed by MEND spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo, the group revealed that the sudden emergence of the Avengers has absolutely nothing to do with the Niger Delta struggle but rather a tool by certain elements to destabilize the current government.
MEND further stated that they will continue to respect the ceasefire which was signed on May 30, 2014 under the administration of former President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan against key economic interests of the Nigerian state.
The group said the “painful but necessary resolution” to respect the ceasefire was born out of its belief that President Muhammadu Buhari marks his first year in office, he deserves more time to stabilize the country. According to the group it [the country] was run aground by the ill-fated, corrupt and vision-less immediate past administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan which pauperized the Nigerian people to the alarming degree we all experience today”.
“The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) wishes to condemn and dissociate itself from the recent activities carried out by a group known as the Niger Delta Avengers,” the group said
It said going by the Avengers actions and subsequent statements, it was apparent who the sponsors of the recent attacks were, although, the group failed to mention who these alleged sponsors were/are.
MEND also said the Niger Delta region shall not be part of a secessionist Biafran State.
“Rather, the group believes in one strong united Nigerian Federation where the principles and ideals of resource control; true federalism; rule of law/respect for human rights; democracy; free enterprise and a vibrant civil society are well entrenched.”