The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, has accused the Muhammadu Buhari administration of playing politics with issues concerning the region. Thus the group which gave its absolute support for Buhari before the inception of the government, has decided on a new song.
The spokesman of the militant group, Jomo Gbomo, stated this in an electronic statement issued on Sunday where it passed a vote of no confidence on the federal government, accusing it of playing politics with the issue of dialogue and development of the region.
MEND said since the time President Buhari met with the leadership of the Pan Niger Delta Forum under the headship of Edwin Clark on November 1, 2016, some top government functionaries in Buhari administration had been ‘arrogantly’ making controversial, prejudicial, conflicting and contradictory statements about the issue of finding lasting peace in the region.
“Without prejudice to the pre-2015 Presidential election endorsement freely and voluntarily given to President Muhammadu Buhari on January 6, 2015, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) hereby categorically and unequivocally pass a ‘vote of no confidence’ on the government of President Buhari.
“That prior to and after his reluctant meeting with the traditional rulers, opinion leaders and stakeholders of the Niger Delta region, under the auspices of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) on November 1, 2016, President Muhammadu Buhari has been carrying on arrogantly and making controversial, prejudicial, conflicting and contradictory statements about the politics and economy of the oil-rich region.”
The statement lamented that "Buhari has always, for reasons best known to him, held the Niger Delta region in contempt while accusing and/or blackmailing the leadership of the region of not being ready for dialogue whereas it is the federal government that is not ready or willing to name a team to dialogue with the people.”
It alleged that the government had failed to honour concessions reached before it agreed to announce a ceasefire with militants in the region including the release of the Okah brothers and several other political detainees and prisoners of conscience under a grand deception by the current government.
Buhari had in his new year message, appeal to the Niger Delta militants and the Shi'ites to come to the round table for discussion.