Support has come the way of former Vice President, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and members of the Abubakar Baraje-led new Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) from unexpected quarters – the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) – which has told them to ignore the empty and provocative threats emanating from those it described as “idle political thugs” posing as ex-militants.
It would be recalled that the Leadership, Peace, and Cultural Development Initiative (LPCDI) arising from its meeting weekend in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital, declared Atiku a persona-non-grata in the Niger Delta region, saying its position was based on the demand by the new PDP; which the former Vice President and Amaechi are arrow heads, that President Goodluck Jonathan should drop his 2015 ambition.
But MEND, in a statement purportedly signed by its spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, a copy of which was seen by Information Nigeria said, “The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) urges former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, Rotimi Amaechi, the New PDP and our brothers and sisters from other parts of Nigeria, to ignore the empty threats and provocative comments from idle political thugs parading themselves as ex-militants, as well as some so-called elders and tribal assemblies of the Niger Delta.
“It is the right of any detribalised, honest, and qualified Nigerian to aspire for the highest office of the land to bring progress, peace, reconciliation and other dividends of democracy. It is also in order, for a performing incumbent to seek a legitimate extension of his/her tenure in office as long as the peoples vote will count and the bid does not run contrary to any prior agreements reached within their party. MEND believes in honour and integrity.
“The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) is ready to end activities of illegitimate oil merchants, pipeline vandalism, and the unrest in the Niger Delta region when the reason we took up arms is addressed by a listening administration regardless of the part of our great country the president comes from.”