14 June 2016, Abuja — The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) on Monday announced a seven-member team, led by Odein Ajumogobia, a former Minister of Petroleum, to dialogue with the Federal Government.
Jomo Gbomo, MEND’s spokesman, said in an online statement on Monday that other members of the group, tagged, “Aaron Team 2”, are Bismark Rewane (Delta) and Florence Ita-Giwa (Cross River).
The rest of the team are Timipa Jenkins Okponipere (Bayelsa), Ledum Mitee (Rivers) and Lawson Omokhodion (Edo) and Ibanga Isine (Akwa Ibom), who is a PREMIUM TIMES reporter.
Mr. Gbomo said other members of the team would be made public in due course after consultations with relevant stakeholders.
He said the team was made up of patriotic and selfless men and women with good track records and character drawn from different parts of the Niger Delta region.
Mr. Gbomo also said the team would dialogue with the Federal Government on the immediate, medium and long-term future of the Niger Delta region.
He said members had already agreed to serve on behalf of the Niger Delta Region.
He recalled that MEND on May 30, 2014, declared a cease-fire on attacks against the nation`s key economic and strategic interests.
The spokesman said the group took the decision in response to former President Goodluck Jonathan`s Democracy Day speech.
“Our message to the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) is simple: The Niger Delta struggle is beyond attacks on oil installations.
“If indeed your cause is to avenge the injustice done to the Niger Delta region; then, we urge you to cease fire and join us to the table of negotiation with the Federal Government.
“Otherwise, the Niger Delta struggle shall be hijacked, once again by selfish interests for their own personal aggrandizement,” Gbomo said.
He said the problems and challenges facing the region after attacks on key installations were environmental pollution and political corruption.