THE Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, last night, cautioned the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Burutai, to stick to his principal responsibility and stop making political and inciting statements.
MEND in a statement by its spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo, frowned at comments, Monday, in Port Harcourt by Burutai that military authorities would resort to the use of force if dialogue to resolve the current Niger-Delta crisis fails.
Its words: “MEND hereby makes it clear that General Buratai’s statement is insensitive, provocative, unprofessional and prejudicial to the fair outcome of the ongoing preliminary talks regarding the Niger Delta crisis between representatives of oil companies and security agencies, on the one hand; and the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), on the other hand.”
The militant group asserted: “We, therefore, warn the Chief of Army Staff to guard his utterances, refrain from making political and inflammatory statements and stick to his primary responsibility.”
On its controversial dialogue with the federal government, it said: “We use this medium to appeal to the good people of the Niger Delta to remain patient with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
The group urged them to “keep hope alive as MEND and the Aaron Team 2 Dialogue, Peace and Development Initiative, led by Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, and HRH King Alfred Papapreye Diette-Spiff are working assiduously to secure sustainable concessions for the region from the government.”
“While MEND has already kick-started the dialogue process with the ongoing preliminary talks, the Aaron Team made up of distinguished and accomplished personalities from the region, are waiting on the sidelines to conclude the dialogue process,” it said.