The group in a statement signed by Jomo Gbomo however warned that they will continue to monitor the progress of Edwin Clark in six months, which if not satisfactory, he would be recalled.
“The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) hereby announces the immediate disbandment of the AARON TEAM 2 dialogue and peace initiative headed by Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, SAN which was inaugurated on June 12, 2016 and thereby affecting the take-off of ‘Operation Moses’ which is also hereby suspended,” read the statement signed by Jomo Gbomo, the group’s spokesman.
“We sincerely thank all the patriots who honoured our invitation to serve and wish them well in their respective endeavours.
“The disbandment became necessary following MEND’s decision to recognise and work with Ijaw national leader Chief (Dr) Edwin Kiagbodo Clark as the leader of a pan-Niger Delta dialogue and peace initiative.
“We have always advocated that the Niger Delta region must speak with a single voice under a single umbrella body; otherwise the much-sought-after peace and development shall elude the region, again.
“Therefore, under the new collaborative arrangement, MEND has nominated MESSRS LEDUM MITEE, IBANGA ISINE and TIMIPA JENKINS OKPONIPERE, ESQ., to work alongside Chief (Dr) Clark and other stakeholders.
“MEND shall continue to monitor the pace of progress of the Chief Edwin Clark-led team and reserves the right to recall its nominees after 6 months.”
The statement added that MEND had secured some some concessions in its initial talks with the government, and President Muhammadu Buhari could attest to them.
“Nevertheless, MEND is compelled to categorically warn that, it is not yet uhuru. The Chief Edwin Clark-led new initiative should realise that MEND was already in preliminary talks with the federal government as confirmed by President Muhammadu Buhari himself,” the statement read.
“In fact, we have so far been able to secure a number of concessions; some of which include, but are not limited to the release of political prisoners. We expect that Chief Clark and his team shall follow through with the rest of the dialogue and peace process.”
MEND accused the Bayelsa state government of “extra-judicial killings”, alleging that the government had been using one of its former commanders to commit atrocities.
“The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) also condemns in very strong terms, the extra-judicial killings and deception by the Bayelsa state government-sponsored militia under the leadership of our former commander, Mr. Africanus Ukparasia aka General Africa, an ex-militant whose legal agreement signed under the presidential amnesty programme clearly forbade him to bear arms under any guise,” the statement read.
“In flagrant violation and disregard of the unilateral ceasefire recently declared by the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), and previously declared ceasefire by MEND to give ongoing peace talks a chance, these soldiers of fortune calling themselves Bayelsa State Waterways Security Task Force and their military collaborators have been attacking and killing soft targets such as debtors, personal enemies and perceived informants of NDA and cultists; thereafter displaying their corpses, and weapons from the military armoury as if those arms and ammunition were recovered.
“Africanus, his thugs and the military are hereby warned to put a stop to their criminal acts and respect the ongoing ceasefire or else he, Africanus and all his known fixed assets acquired during the fraudulent amnesty period will become legitimate targets. Africanus is also warned not to venture close to any MEND camps as our commanders have been informed to see him as an enemy and defend themselves.”