Clark, MEND meet on Niger Delta crisis

Ijaw leader, Chief Edwin Clark, on Friday met with a delegation of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) in Warri, and agreed to work together.

He denounced Thursday’s visit by some Ijaw traditional rulers to the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, as a selfish venture which had no blessing of true leaders of the Niger Delta.

Clark, at Friday’s parley, received the representative of MEND’s Aaron Team 2, Mr. Timipa Jenkins Okponipre, who bore a letter requesting collaboration with a regional stakeholders’ forum led by the ex- federal commissioner for Information, which was assembled at a recent gathering in Warri.

Okponipre, who is also the Secretary of the Aaron’s Team 2, read out the terms on which MEND wished the new alliance to run.

According to him, the alliance will be led by Clark, with six other members, who would be persons of impeccable integrity.

He said: “MEND hereby restates that it shall work with and recognize Chief Edwin Ckark as the leader of a pan Niger Delta team to engage in dialogue with the federal government and multi- national oil companies upon the following terms and conditions:

*All the ongoing Niger Delta dialogue and peace initiatives in the region shall be carefully coordinated and warehoused under a single umbrella body to be known as the Niger Delta Peace and Development Group.

*Only the Niger Delta Peace and Development Group shall be recognized and competent to speak, negotiate and dialogue on behalf of the Niger Delta region with all stakeholders including the federal government, the international community and multinational oil companies.

*The group shall comprise six eminent Nigerians of impeccable character and integrity from the Niger Delta as defined by the Niger Delta Development Commission Act.

*That Chief Clark shall be the leader of the group. MEND, in support of the group, would nominate a Secretary that would work with Clark. MEND’s nominee shall be Timipa Jenkins Okponipre. MEND also nominates Messrs Ledum Mitee and Ibanga Isine to serve as members of the group.


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