The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has issued a statement criticising chief of Army Staff Lt. Col. Tukur Buratai over statements he made that were deemed as insensitive to Niger Delta residents.
Buratai was credited as saying that the Nigerian government was prepared to use force against the Niger Delta region if a peaceful compromise could not be found to the crisis currently rocking the place.
MEND came out to say that they found the statements “insensitive and provocative.”
In a statement by its spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, MEND 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.
“We use this medium to appeal to the good people of the Niger Delta to remain patient with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari and 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 have 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.”