The Federal Government has reached an agreement with the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) over the ongoing crisis in the Niger Delta region of the country.
The agreement reached between both parties also suggest the possibility of releasing former militant leader, Henry Okah, from prison in South Africa, and his brother, Charles Okah, incarcerated in Nigeria.
The agreement also reportedly include a deal to release the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB leader, Nnamdi Kanu, on condition that he will renounce agitations for the ‘Biafra Republic’.
In a statement released by MEND’s spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo, the group also revealed that it reached agreement over Tompolo’s issue as the Federal Government has agreed to stop harassing him.
The statement reads: “The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) is the only militant group from the Niger Delta region presently engaged in a dialogue with the Federal Government of Nigeria – through oil companies and security agencies – with a view to resolving the current Niger Delta crisis.
“Thus far, the deliberations have been fruitful, various concessions and guarantees have already been secured, some of which include but not limited to the release of Henry Okah, Charles Okah and Obi Nwabueze; review of the life sentence handed to Mr. Edmund Ebiware based on a proposal put forward by the Aaron Team representative for Abia and Imo states, Senator Adolphus Wabara; conditional release of IPOB leader, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu and others if they renounce their agitation for a ‘Biafra Republic’”.
The Group further noted that Mr. Government Ekpemupolo will be spared of arrested or any other form of harassment by the Federal Government if he makes himself available as a delegate of the MEND Aaron Team.
“That international arbitrator and conflict negotiator, American Dr. Judith Asuni, shall be accepted as the representative of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) on the MEND Aaron Team; that the criminal charges against Urhobo freedom fighter, Mr. Kelvin Prosper Oniarah, shall be reviewed.
“That the life sentence which was handed to seven soldiers in 2008, who actively supported the Niger Delta struggle, be reviewed under the Presidential Amnesty Programme. The affected persons are: Suleiman Alabi Akubo, Major. Mathias Peter, Sgt Alexander Davou, L.cpl. Moses Nwaigwe, L.cpl. Nnamdi Anene, L.cpl. Taatihi Emmanuel, L.cpl Caleb Bawa, PTE.
“However, one of the most immediate and urgent fallouts of the ongoing dialogue is the imperative for the Federal Government and MEND to jointly and separately take proactive steps to rescue and secure the region. This is in the event that the recalcitrant Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, continues its senseless and politically- motivated path of attacks on the country’s oil assets.
“To this end, both parties agreed that the Special Forces of the Nigerian Army should commence the purely routine but strategic military exercise, code-named ‘Operation Crocodile Tears’; while MEND would commence a meet-the government-actors-and-people tour of the Niger Delta region code-named ‘Operation Moses’.
“‘Operation Crocodile Tears’ is aimed at ensuring the combat readiness of the Nigerian Army in amphibious and internal security operations in the Niger Delta as well as check criminal activities like kidnapping, pipeline vandalism, piracy and other forms of criminal activities spearheaded by the NDA in the region.
“MEND’s ‘Operation Moses’ is essentially to inform, educate and generally sensitise the citizenry in the Niger Delta, particularly the government, the youth, oil companies, elders and militant community on the need to ceasefire and support the President Muhammadu Buhari Administration in its determined bid to proffer sustainable solutions to the current Niger Delta crisis.
“Consequently, MEND urges all states, local governments, oil and gas companies and law-abiding citizens in the Niger Delta region to go about their lawful and legitimate concerns without any iota of fear as we have received firm assurances from the Federal Government that ‘Operation Crocodile Tears’ is an innocuous exercise in the national interest.
“Meanwhile, MEND’s ‘Operation Moses ‘shall be anchored by the Aaron Team 2 Dialogue, Peace and Development Initiative, jointly led by Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, SAN, and HRH King Alfred Papapreye Diette-Spiff, the Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass in Bayelsa State” the group added.