MEND threatens to burn assets of corrupt leaders

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has threatened to burn down assets which corrupt politicians are hiding from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

Jomo Gbomo, spokesman of the group, said this in a statement. He also dissociated MEND from the Pan-Niger Delta Elders Forum (PANDEF).

PANDEF is the forum leading negotiations with the federal government on some issues affecting the Niger Delta.

A few days ago, the forum threatened to pull out of a peace deal with the government if its demands, which include allocating oil blocks to natives of the region, were not met.

But it withdrew its threat after meeting with Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

However, MEND says it is withdrawing its support for the forum for allegedly betraying the cause of the region.

The group alleged that Edwin Clark, convener of PANDEF, and some elders of the Niger Delta were silent when former President Goodluck Jonathan refused to develop the region.

It said Jonathan wasted the region’s opportunity.

The militant group described Clark and elders of the region as President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe who still “crave for wealth and power to the detriment of the younger generation”.

“The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has from Monday, August 14, 2017, withdrawn its support and representatives from the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF),” it said.

“Our decision to abandon PANDEF stems from the commercial and political motives of the leaders and most of the members who now see the platform as a means to bounce back financially and politically. It is also as a result of the lie told by Chief Clark to state house correspondents after the PANDEF volte-face meeting with the acting president on Thursday, August 3, 2017, where he said that MEND was part of the parley when the group wasn’t represented.

“MEND has also lost confidence in the effete leadership of Chief Edwin Clark and HRH, King Alfred Diete-Spiff who like Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, still crave for power, wealth and pleasure to the detriment of developing the younger generation in leadership.

“It is annoying working with pretenders who conspired to keep silent when Goodluck Jonathan wasted the opportunity of the region and were part of the conspiracy to suppress the voice of Henry Okah and MEND.

“Today, the east-west road they have suddenly realised that is in need of urgent repairs is a shameful death-trap which passes alongside oil wells and sits on top of huge gas reserves. PANDEF is demanding for the road to be completed but during the six wasted years, these same members used the dilapidated road, lost loved ones there but said nothing, engaging instead on worthless pleasures, with the Abuja residence of Chief Clark as the rallying point.

“Chief Clark who had direct access to his ‘son’ Goodluck Jonathan did not advice the former president to address the root issues and develop the region. Many sons and daughters who enriched themselves, including the current PANDEF leaders have no single viable industry built in the Niger Delta to show for it. The assets they have acquired are now forfeited to the region or the EFCC. Those ill-gotten assets cleverly hidden from the EFCC that we discover will be attacked and burnt to the ground.

“The Niger Delta is today blessed with private, state, and federal university presence; including a maritime academy in Oron, Akwa Ibom state which was established in the early 80s. One begins to wonder if the desperation and insistence of another similar university as a top priority by PANDEF is not just a ploy to cover-up an established financial crime.”

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