Give Buhari a chance – Ex-Mend members

– Ex-MEND members called for peace in the Niger Delta
– The ex-militants asked youths to give President
Buhari a chance to deliver his promises
– They also asked the president to continue to honour
the amnesty agreement
Former members of the now defunct Movement for the
Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) have called on
Niger Deltans to give President Muhammadu Buhari a
chance to fulfil his promises and transform the region.
READ ALSO: Timi Frank cautions Buhari over Niger Delta
Several groups in the region with the most notable being
the Niger Delta Avengers have been expressing their
agitation for the government to make the region better. The
Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for the
bombing of pipelines in the region which has resulted in
the reduction of oil production.
Leadership reports that the ex-MEND leaders from the nine
Niger Delta states who re-grouped under a peace advocacy
group known as the Leadership, Peace and Cultural
Development Initiative (LPCDI) called on militants to stop
their violent operation which has been a distraction to the
Buhari administration.
Chief Reuben Wilson known in the creeks as General Pastor
who issued a statement on behalf of LPCDI in Yenagoa on
Saturday, May 21 said that although they had used violence
in the past, it was not the best method of communication.
“There is the need to utilise other peaceful and civil means
to build on sympathy of the world towards the region for
more effective result rather than violence.
“We should give President Buhari the opportunity to fulfil
his promises to the Niger Delta people by maintaining
peace in the region because there can be no meaningful
development in an environment ravaged by violence.
Therefore the current resurgence of militancy is an
unnecessary distraction to the current administration.”
The ex-militant leaders called on agitated youths from the
region to shun violence and channel their grievances
through the office of the Presidential Amnesty Committee,
the Ijaw Youths Council or the office of the foremost former
militant leader, Comrade Victor Ebikabowei, known as
Boyloaf for a more positive resolution of their grievances.
READ ALSO: Treat IPOB, militants like Boko Haram –
northern group
“We have asked the President, Muhammadu Buhari to
strengthen and properly fund the Presidential Amnesty
programme in order to stop some of the beneficiaries from
going back to the creeks to engage in militant activities
owing to hardship and non-fulfilment of the promises made
by the federal government to them that led to the
acceptance of the Presidential Amnesty programme. The
situation where monthly stipends are delayed for months is
not encouraging and could lead to undesirable
Meanwhile, Chief Government Ekpemupolo popularly
known as Tompolo sent an open letter to President Buhari
denying his involvement in the vandalism of oil and gas
pipelines in the Niger Delta region.
The former militant is wanted by the Economic and
Financial Crimes Commission and has been arraigned by
the anti-graft agency in absentia.
Tompolo alleged that the oil pipeline repair servicing
companies sabotage the pipelines in order to secure
surveillance and repair contracts from the Nigerian
National Petroleum Company due to deficiency in handling
the jobs.