By Tom Amakri, Port Harcourt
Members of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) have called on people in the region against harbouring members of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) and other militant groups.
The militant group stated these in an online statement by its Spokesperson, Jomo GbomoÂ on MondayÂ night.
“What is more worrisome to us is the ungodly conspiracy of silence of the region’s elite and their tacit support of the NDA’s conduct, under the pretext of a so-called ‘Niger Delta struggle,’ which went to sleep in luxury hotel suites in Abuja and around the world, for the entire duration of the six years of Mr. Jonathan’s (Dr. Goodluck) binge and unmitigated disaster as President.
“We hereby remind our communities, who harbour criminals such as members of the NDA, that their communities are not protected by the extant principles of international and/or municipal law during a conflict, even as we urge the Nigerian military high command to stick to the rules of engagement and international best practices.
“Equally of grave concern to MEND is the disproportionate use of force and the sheer unimaginable dimension of the ongoing reprisal Nigerian military onslaught in the Niger Delta region and the attendant collateral damage done to the political, social and economic lives of the ordinary people, especially in the Ijaw communities.
“While we commiserate with the affected persons, families and communities, we seize this opportunity to call on the international community, as well as the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to dispatch relief materials to the region, as a matter of utmost priority.”
MEND also commented on the June 2 kick-off of the Ogoni clean-up at Bodo in Gokana Local Government Area of Rivers State by President Muhammadu Buhari, who was represented by the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.
The militant group described as a step in the right direction, the decision of the Muhammadu Buhari ledÂ administration to commence full implementation of the recommendations contained in the report of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) on Ogoni land’s environmental assessment, issued on August 4, 2011 and submitted to the then President Jonathan in Abuja on August 12, 2011, without implementation, till he left office of May 29, 2015.