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Author Topic: Nigerian MEND confirms holding “preliminary” talks with Nigerian Government  (Read 120 times)

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The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, has confirmed that it is indeed talking with the Federal Government of Nigeria as stated by President Muhammadu Buhari.

President Buhari had while bidding farewell to the outgoing German Ambassador to Nigeria, Michael Zinner, on Thursday, said his administration was talking to Niger Delta militants through oil companies and law-enforcement agencies to find a lasting solution to insecurity in the region.

He also said the government was studying the instruments of the amnesty programme inherited from the previous administration with a view to carrying out commitments made that were undelivered.

“We understand their feelings,” the president said. “We are studying the instruments. We have to secure the environment; otherwise investment will not come. We will do our best for the country,” President Buhari said.

In a statement on Sunday, MEND’s spokesperson, Gbomo Jomo, said the group was having what it described as “preliminary” talks with the government through oil companies and law-enforcement agencies.

“The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) wishes to confirm that indeed it has been in preliminary talks with the Federal Government through oil companies and law-enforcement agencies as revealed by President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday, July 21, 2016,” MEND said.

“These preliminary talks are the precursor to a wider dialogue between the Federal Government and the MEND Aaron 2 peace initiative which will seek to find solutions to the short, medium and long-term future of the Niger Delta region.”

During the preliminary talks, the group said the government made it clear that it would not negotiate with criminals.

It listed groups and persons the government reportedly said it would not negotiate with to include Niger Delta Avengers, internet-based ‘militant’ groups such as Joint Revolutionary Council and the Ultimate Warriors.

Others are those it called opportunistic tribal assemblies, who it claimed were compromised to keep silent during the six years of the Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, pirates, pipeline vandals, oil thieves, commercial kidnappers, waterway robbers, political thugs and miscreants.


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