A foremost militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has pulled out the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), but not before it accused some leaders of the latter of using the forum to “seek political relevance”.
MEND specifically accused Chief Edwin Clark and King Alfred Diete Spiff of using the group to boost their ‘financial status’, adding that it was “annoying working with pretenders who conspired to keep silence when Goodluck Jonathan wasted the opportunity of the region.”
Below is statement from the group signed by its spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo:
“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 was not represented.
Today, the East West Road they have suddenly realised that is in need of urgent repairs is a shameful deathtrap which passes alongside oil wells and sits on top of huge gas reserves. PANDEF is demanding that the road should 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 advise 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.”