MEND present at meeting with Osinbajo – Clark

Edwin Clark, Ijaw leader, says the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) was present at the meeting between Niger Delta leaders and Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.

He said MEND’s withdrawal from the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), as stated by its spokesperson Jomo Gbomo, was untrue.

Clark, co-convener of PANDEF, described Gbomo as a non-existent entity, saying it is a “fake name”.

He made this known on Thursday after Niger Delta stakeholders withdrew their November 1 ultimatum to the federal government to meet their 16-point agenda.

Clark denied that the people of the region were not united, insisting that “we are speaking with one voice”.

“MEND was in the meeting. Jomo Gbomo does not exist as a human being, that is a ghost name, fake name,” he said.

“Other organisations were here. I am the leader of the Niger Delta and every leader you can think of from Cross River to Ondo state were all here today.”

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Clark described the discussion with Osinbajo as “honest, truthful, forthright,” adding that they were “very satisfied”.

He said: “No more ultimatum. We agreed on many things. They came with their own address, the ministers all spoke, presented their cases and at the end, the Acting President rounded it up.

“We saw his genuineness, forthrightness, he is a gentleman. We are satisfied. We have agreed to work together and the issue of dialogue must take place.

“The message we are sending back home is that we had the opportunity to meet with Mr Acting President, we discussed our 16-point agenda and government’s 20-point agenda and we are all satisfied. We all agreed that everyone should maintain peace.”

Ibe Kachikwu, minister of state for petroleum, said the group thrashed out a number of issues during the meeting, and that the Niger Delta leaders expressed a desire to keep working with the government.

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“We discussed how far we have gone with the implementation of the 16 point agenda. Several issues relating to the university, the development of the region, amnesty programme, NDDC operations in the Niger Delta. It was very exhaustive,” he said.

“Today was environment of peace, calm, friendliness, and mutual dialoguing of issues, where we are coming from and most pressing issues that they have.

“There is more consensus, it is not an alarm meeting that we are going to pull off the negotiations. They did, in fact, pledge their loyalty and their willingness to continue to work with us. I didn’t see an environment of ultimatum here.”

Some of those present at the meeting were Amayanabo of Brass, Alfred Diete-Spiff, Victor Attah, senator Ndoma Egba, Don Etiebet, Timi Alaibe, senator Bassey Ewa-Henshaw, Tony Uranta, Hosa Ogunbor, Stella Omu, Godknows Igali, and Graham Douglas.

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