President Muhammadu Buhari finally bowed to pressure for the conditional release of Charles Okah, Henry Okah and Nnamdi Kanu.
The ongoing negotiations mediated by oil companies and security agencies has so far proven to be fruitful as a consensus has been reached.
The Buhari led government requested that sabotage on oil installations be suspended.
MEND reportedly agreed to Buhari’s offer on some conditions.
Firstly, that the Buhari led administration will commence talks with South Africa for the release of Gideon Okah.
Secondly, that the Buhari administration will drop all charges against ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, AKA Tompolo.
Thirdly, that the Buhari led administration will ensure the release the Charles Okah from Kuje prisons.
Fourthly, that Tompolo will be part of ongoing negotiations between the federal government and militants and that he would go about this without being harangued by security agencies.
Fifthly, that Nnmadi Kanu will be released from prison and all charges against him dropped.
President Buhari agreed to all conditions with a caveat.
He said, He’d release Nnamdi Kanu on the condition that he’d renounce his agitation for Biafra.
A statement released by MEND’s spokesperson, Gbomo Jomo confirmed the ongoing negotiations.
“MEND is the only militant group from the Niger Delta region who are presently engaged in a dialogue with the Federal Government.
The dialogue is through oil companies and security agencies.
The plan is with a view to resolving the current Niger Delta crisis.
“Thus far, the deliberations have been fruitful.
“Various concessions and guarantees have already been secured.
“Some of which include, but are not limited to: Release of Henry Okah, Charles Okah and Obi Nwabueze.
“Review of the life sentence handed to Mr. Edmund Ebiware based on a proposal put forward by the Aaron Team representative for Abia and Imo states, Senator Adolphus Wabara.
“Also, conditional release of IPOB leader, Mr. Nnamdi Kanu and others if they renounce their agitation for a ‘Biafra Republic’.
“That Tompolo shall not be arrested, harassed and/or intimidated whenever he makes himself available as a delegate of the MEND Aaron Team.
“That an American international arbitrator and conflict negotiator, Dr. Judith Asuni, be accepted as the representative of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) on the MEND Aaron Team.
“That the criminal charges against Urhobo freedom fighter, Mr. Kelvin Prosper Oniarah be reviewed.
“That the life sentence which was handed to seven soldiers in 2008, who actively supported the Niger Delta struggle be reviewed.
“The affected persons are: Suleiman Alabi Akubo; Major Mathias Peter; SGT Alexander Davou and L.Cpl., Moses Nwaigwe.
“Others are L.Cpl., Nnandi Anene; L.Cpl. Taatihi Emmanuel; L.Cpl and Caleb Bawa.
“However, one of the most immediate and urgent fallout of the ongoing dialogue is the imperative for the Federal Government and MEND to jointly and separately take proactive steps to rescue and secure the region.
“This is in the event that the recalcitrant Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) continuing on its senseless and politically-motivated path of attacks on the country’s oil assets.
“To this end, both parties agreed that the Special Forces of the Nigerian Army should commence the purely routine but strategic military exercise code-named ‘Operation Crocodile Tears.’
“MEND would commence a meet-the Government-Actors-and-People tour of the Niger Delta region code-named ‘Operation Moses,’ the group said.