The Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Yusuf Buratai has been cautioned by MEND over his recent statement on the Niger Delta agitations.
Lt General Tukur Burutai
A recent statement credited to the army boss, Lt General Tukur Burutai reveals the Nigerian army would employthe use of force to suppress the Niger Delta militants destroying oil facilities at the failure of peaceful negotiation.
This has infuriated one of the influential Niger Delta militant groups named the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND trying to broker peace in the region, according to the Vanguard.
The group on Monday night cautioned Burutai, to stick to his principal responsibility and stop making political and inciting statements.
MEND in a statement by its spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo, frowned at comments, Monday, in Port Harcourt by Burutai that military authorities would resort to the use of force if dialogue to resolve the current Niger-Delta crisis fails.
The militant group asserted: “MEND hereby makes it clear that General Buratai’s statement is insensitive, provocative, unprofessional and prejudicial to the fair outcome of the ongoing preliminary talks regarding the Niger Delta crisis between representatives of oil companies and security agencies, on the one hand; and the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), on the other hand.
“We, therefore, warn the Chief of Army Staff to guard his utterances, refrain from making political and inflammatory statements and stick to his primary responsibility.”
On its controversial dialogue with the federal government, it said: “We use this medium to appeal to the good people of the Niger Delta to remain patient with the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.”
The group urged them to “keep hope alive as MEND and the Aaron Team 2 Dialogue, Peace and Development Initiative, led by Mr. Odein Ajumogobia, and HRH King Alfred Papapreye Diette-Spiff are working assiduously to secure sustainable concessions for the region from the government.”
“While MEND has already kick-started the dialogue process with the ongoing preliminary talks, the Aaron Team made up of distinguished and accomplished personalities from the region, are waiting on the sidelines to conclude the dialogue process.”