By Tim Tochukwu
For Biafra Choice Writers 

Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), a group that armed itself to fight for the freedom of the “Niger Delta”, has finally spoken out on the recent attacks on oil installations in the country. The group released a statement on Sunday, May 22, where its spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo said the group had carried out “rigorous and robust analysis, debates and review of political events in Nigeria within the past 12 months; particularly as they affect the Niger Delta region”.
Among other things, MEND said it resolved to continue to respect the ceasefire it declared in 2014. It condemned and dissociated itself from the recent activities of Niger Delta Avengers. It also said that it did not believe in Biafra, but in one united Nigeria; then asked for the release of Henry Orkah.
If MEND did not have a meeting with Buhari’s government before this statement, they would have been taken serious. But no! They have gone to be “settled” while those they claim to have fought for are hurting, even more than when they started their so-called fight for emancipation of the so-called Niger-delta.
It becomes necessary to respond to MEND’s statement because it reeks of betrayal of those who believed in it. It is not that true Biafrans – both the ones from the so-called South-east and South-south (Niger-Delta) have not realized the games MEND is playing. It is for the international community to know what is at play.
Gbomo claimed the group had resolved to continue to respect the ceasefire it declared on May 30, 2014 against key economic interests of the Nigerian State. Going further, it said the “painful but necessary resolution” to respect the ceasefire was borne out of its belief that as President Muhammadu Buhari marks his first year in office, he deserves more time to stabilize the country that was “run aground by the ill-fated, corrupt and visionless immediate past administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan which pauperized the Nigerian people to the alarming degree we all experience today”.
What was the ceasefire for then? Was it done under Buhari? Has Buhari in anyway towed the line of those governments it offered the ceasefire? It also said it was giving Buhari the benefit of the doubt because he had not stayed up to one year in office.
How stupid can a group be? Did Buhari wait for one year in office before appointing his Northern (Fulani) kinsmen into key positions in government? Buhari did not need a year to commence ethnic cleansing in Biafraland, or take away the security contract given to some Biafrans.
MEND did not seem to have sense enough to know that Buhari did not need up to one year to get Barack Obama of United States of America (USA) and Cameron of United Kingdom (UK) to organize image laundering stunts for him, both in the USA and UK. For USA, it was done during the nuclear summit; for the UK, it was done with the anti-corruption summit. Buhari did not even need a year to buy arms with which to fight another Biafra war, and starve Biafran women and children. Buhari did not wait for one year in office before unleashing his Fulani herdsmen in Biafraland, to kill maim and plunder, as he continues to unfold his Islamisation agenda. Buhari did not wait one year in office before releasing more than 400 Billion Naira to settle Boko Haram while lying that it was to prospect for oil in the Chad basin. MEND should spare us the foolish talk.
Does MEND not know that it did not take Buhari one year to cancel scholarships given to Niger-Delta children and youths, many of whom are now abandoned in foreign lands? Even at home, many children on scholarship are unable to go to school again, and are now home looking for what to do with their idle-minds.
Once MEND began to sound like this – like one-Nigerianist Biafrans, who have found avenues to position themselves to steal with government in Biafraland – Biafrans knew that they have compromised and gone off course; and therefore must be ignored.
One of the resolutions MEND got from its “rigorous and robust analysis, debates and review of political events” was to “condemn and dissociate itself from the recent activities carried out by a group known as the ‘Niger Delta Avengers”. Meanwhile, it is this group that has been bombing pipelines and forcing Buhari to think twice about his evil agenda against Biafra and Biafrans.
But MEND declared “Their (Niger Delta Avengers) sudden emergence has absolutely nothing to do with the Niger Delta struggle but rather a tool by certain elements to destabilise the current government”. How foolish can a group sound?
It said also that going by the Avenger’s actions and subsequent statement; it was apparent who the sponsors of the recent attacks were. MEND also said the Niger Delta region shall not be part of a secessionist Biafran State.
For some time, Biafrans thought MEND’s leadership were knowledgeable and sensible men and women. Now people have their doubts. Where is Niger Delta? What is Niger Delta? What constitutes Niger Delta? So why are Biafrans continuing to fail for the one-Nigeria trap of Britain? Officially Niger-delta is not on the map, and the world knows no such location. But Biafra has been in existence hundreds of years before Nigeria. The world knows this because it was the one that named its Continental Shelf “Bight of Biafra”. Hundreds of years before the great-grandfather of Fredrick Lugard (the creator of Nigeria) were born, there was Biafra. Besides, Biafra cannot be a secessionist state. It existed hundreds of years before Nigeria, and so cannot secede from Nigeria. It was only taken over by Nigeria (under British guidance) by force of arms. Biafrans only want to restore their land. MEND should educate themselves, speaking of Biafra seceding from Nigeria is the height of ignorance and stupidity. So MEND should stop chasing shadows and grasping at straws.
MEND also went on to state that it believed in “one strong united Nigerian federation where the principles and ideals of Resource Control; True Federalism; Rule of Law/Respect for Human Rights; Democracy; Free Enterprise and a Vibrant Civil Society are well entrenched in the grundnorm and put to practice”. Noble words, but stupid still; does the Fulani or its current leader, Buhari, tell MEND that they are ready to relinquish their evil hold on Nigeria? Can’t MEND read the handwriting on the wall?
Ghomo, speaking for MEND, condemned what he called the “fraudulent and unsustainable Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) headed by Brigadier General Paul Boroh (rtd) which still runs on the corrupt bureaucratic and operational template of the past administration”. Here MEND sounds like Buhari and his government. It is obvious MEND has lost it after its meeting with Buhari.
“We have always made it very clear’ MEND also said ‘that unless the root issues which gave birth to the agitations in the Niger Delta region are addressed, in the form of a sincere dialogue, this programme will only continue to remain a mere cesspool of corruption,” the group said.
MEND claimed it dissociated itself from the amnesty programme, but Biafrans know that what it did was direct its membership to go through the backdoor to collect amnesty payment when none of the things it claimed to be fighting for was addressed. MEND should understand that by that disgraceful act, it set the agitation decades backwards. MEND should understand that even its mode of operation – killing of people, kidnapping and collecting ransom – will no longer be tolerated, even by the Biafrans it claimed to be fighting for. MEND had indeed outlived its usefulness.
It tried to chart a way forward, and in the twisted minds of its leadership, MEND declared: “In order to create an enabling environment for dialogue on the Niger Delta question, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) urges President Muhammadu Buhari to release the Okah Brothers – Henry and Charles who were arrested in 2010 on trumped-up charges. The release of Henry and Charles Okah will be key to any form of dialogue in helping to bring stability to the volatile region.”
Does Buhari’s body language suggest a man that is willing to even discuss the Nigerian question, not to talk of the so-called Niger Delta question? Henry Orkah has been jailed by Nigerian government for more than five years, MEND did nothing to free him; but continued collecting amnesty money and kickback. But now, younger men have taken the fight to free their people and MEND suddenly realized that it needs the Orkahs released for dialogue. That shows how dubious the MEND statement is.
Many Biafrans already suspected that the release of Orkah and his brother was what the whole statement was all about. MEND now want the Orkah’s to be finally released so that Nigeria will continue the way it is, since MEND”s membership or leadership had already secured wealth and positions for themselves after Buhari has offered them “settlement”. That is a disgrace. MEND has sold out and should be seen as such.
Many Biafrans are not against the release of Orkah and his brother, for indeed they are illustrious sons of Biafraland. But to use their release as bargaining chip to destroy the cohesion of the people will not be tolerated. If members of MEND are now old that they can no longer carry arms to defend their people (as was predicted years ago), then let them retire.

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