MEND gives FG condition for peace in Niger Delta

*Seeks release of IPOB leader Kanu, Okah brothers

 *Wants reprieve for Tompolo
 By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos

The leadership of the Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta, (MEND) has given the Federal Government some set of conditions towards resolving the crisis in the Niger Delta region of the country.

 According to a statement issued by the group’s Spokesman, Mr. Jomo Gbomo on Saturday, the conditions form part of series of negotiations between it (MEND) and representatives of the Federal Government.

Gbomo listed some of the conditions to include, freedom for the group’s leader, Mr. Henry Okah, his younger brother, Charles from prison in South Africa and in Nigeria.

MEND also seeks a reprieve for ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo, as he joins its negotiating team while the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, should also be released on condition that he renounces his agitation for the actualisation of the “Biafra Republic.”

Gbomo, also announced other breakthroughs in the discussions that will end the revolt in the South-South and South East regions in a jiffy.

The statement also called on members of the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA to embrace peace failing which a combination of military forces and volunteers in the region, would smoke them out.

“The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) is the only militant group from the Niger Delta region who are 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.”

He added, that “Thus far, the deliberations have been fruitful, various concessions and guarantees have already been secured. Some of which include, but are not limited to: 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.

“Also, conditional release of IPOB leader, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu and others if they renounce their agitation for a “Biafra Republic,” the group said.

Furthermore, MEND said they agreed: “That Mr. Government Ekpemupolo shall not be arrested, harassed and/or intimidated whenever he makes himself available as a delegate of the MEND Aaron Team.”

It added: “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., Nnandi Anene, L.Cpl. Taatihi Emmanuel, L.Cpl and Caleb Bawa, PTE,” it said.

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