The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has alleged that a member of the National Dialogue Committee, Mr Tony Uranta recently constituted and inaugurated by President Goodluck Jonathan to work out the framework for a national dialogue contacted it to solicit support for the confab.
The militant group in a statement signed by its spokesman, Jomo Gbomo said its scepticism and suspicion may not be farfetched about antecedent of Mr Uranta whom it said had campaign repeatedly that MEND has seized to exist.
According to Jomo Gbomo, Mr Uranta approached the group to solicit for its support because a rejection coming from a South-South body like MEND is an embarrassment to the presidency.
Read the Full Statement Below:
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) was recently contacted by a member of the National Dialogue Advisory Committee, Mr Tony Uranta, soliciting our understanding and support for the proposed National Confab stating that a rejection coming from a South-South body like MEND is an embarrassment to the presidency.
Ironically, this solicitation is coming from the same man who has been campaigning repeatedly that MEND seized to exist after the Niger Delta Amnesty fraud.
Our scepticism and suspicion of the so-called National Dialogue may also have to do with the antecedents and lack of integrity of Mr Tony Uranta himself.
Some hours after we took responsibility for our symbolic October 01, 2010 twin car bomb blasts in Abuja, Mr Tony Uranta sent a text message to Mr Henry Okah, asking him to reach out to me (Jomo Gbomo) to retract our earlier claim of responsibility “as the government of Goodluck Jonathan wants to put the blame on some Northern elements” (specifically, former head of state and 2011 presidential aspirant, General Ibrahim Babangida and Mallam Nasir el Rufai, were the targets for the blame).
It was in anticipation that MEND was contacted by Mr Henry Okah, the president Goodluck Jonathan confidently came on national television that night to absorb our group from the attack.
Mr Tony Uranta was also involved in collecting 50,000 US Dollars bribe on behalf of the Save Nigeria Group which led to an embarrassing scandal at the time.
The same people who managed to hoodwink and entire nation into believing that over 30,000 men and women in the Niger Delta, now requiring an annual training/rehabilitation budget of over 30Billion Naira, took up arms. How can the government correlate its display of less than three thousand weapons (most of which were donated by the military for the disarmament show), with more than thirty thousand (30) so-called repentant militants. Were the rest fighting with sticks?
Millions of hard working Nigerians remains unemployed, our education system is going down the drain with strikes, and the country is getting increasingly full of educated derelicts while the government shares out billions of naira monthly on miscreants, criminals and con men who claim to have been freedom fighters. This scam was designed by people in government such as Timi Alaibe who created ghost fighters with the connivance of those at the highest level.
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) hereby passes a vote of no-confidence.