The Foundation For Human Rights And Anti-Corruption Crusade (FHRACC), a human rights group,based in Niger Delta has condemned the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) on its recent attack on the region’s leaders who constituted Pan Niger Delta Stakeholders to represent the Avengers in the proposed dialogue with the Federal Government.
Alaowei Cleric a human rights activist and the National President of the group, spoke from his Warri base, said that it was disappointing that MEND which claimed to be speaking for the region should now turn around to constitute itself as enemy of peace in the region.
He however maintained that MEND could not claim to be representing the interest of the people when it’s clear that they are sabotaging the progress of the region, since it now seemed to be discouraging peace in the region through its discordant tunes against the Niger Delta leaders.
Cleric, who spoke on behalf of FHRACC, stated, “In all sincerity, we disagree with MEND’s umbrage against Pa Edwin Clark’s led Pan Niger Delta Stakeholders. Good or bad, these people represent the collective interest of the region than any sectional court jesters.
“With its recent inveigh against the persons of Chief Edwin Clark and other Niger Delta leaders for being in the vanguard of restoring peace to the volatile region, we are forced to believe that MEND is now a militia arm of some selfish politicians to ferment strife in the region.”
Cleric stated that the Niger Delta Avengers and other militants groups did nothing wrong by collapsing their grievances in the hands of the leaders to engage the Federal Government in dialogue, adding that that has been the expectations of the Niger Delta people.
He further said, “Now that the militants have tactically surrendered to the Federal Government, we expect nothing less from MEND than to join forces with the stakeholders to get the desired peace back to the region.
“It looks like the new voice of MEND are just a compilation of political jobbers who want to enrich their pockets with the crisis in the region.
“We call on President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore the ranting of those self-seeking political buccaneers,” he stated.
Cleric also wondered why there had been massive deployments of troops and military armaments to the Niger Delta region, stressing that the action of the government was a pointer that it was preparing to declare conventional war against the people of the region.
He said, “The Chief of Air Staff claimed that they are bringing those weapons of mass destruction not to fight militants, but to protect lives and property.
“If the people the military wants to protect then, why the deployment of heavy weapons? Who is going to be affected if the military attacks any community if not the defenceless civilians? There is no logic whatsoever in the excuse the military gave.
“This is an act of war against the defenceless communities. We want to say that the Niger Delta region is not a conquered territory. The military cannot and must not use the region to test its power,” he stated.