Emmanuel Ugwu in Umuahia
The Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) on Tuesday lambasted the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND), saying the movement “has lost focus and credibility” and no longer relevant in the struggle for self-determination.
IPOB came hard on MEND in the light of the latter’s recent ‘unguarded’ utterances and attacks on groups fighting for self determination and even trying to sow seeds of discord between IPOB and the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).
In a statement jointly issued yesterday by its spokespersons, Emma Nmezu and Dr. Clifford Iroanya, IPOB said the reports emanating from MEND was evident that it was no longer worth its name as an organisation fighting for the emancipation of the oppressed people of Niger Delta.
“IPOB can confirm that the moribund terrorist organisation known as MEND has been captured by President Muhammadu Buhari and converted to the official media and publicity arm of Nigeria’s Department of State Services (DSS),” the statement said.
It stated that with “this latest conversion, the rogue organisation is now popularly called Movement for the Enslavement of Niger Delta (MEND),” adding that “part of the deal accompanying the conversion as a government mouth piece was early release of jailed MEND’s leader, Charles Okah.
According to IPOB, Okah with his MEND has compromised so much that he is now being used by the federal authorities to provide information on the NDA members, adding that he was even given the leeway to continue playing “his role as the infamous Gbomo Jomo” from prison.
“This schizophrenic Okah or Gbomo Jomo who as a matter of public record, has attempted to kill himself twice; in his new role as the MEND leader that only exists on the internet, he was given a paltry 1million Naira by the DSS to provide information on the whereabouts of NDA.
“It is necessary to state for record purposes that any person or persons so far arrested by the Nigerian Army or DSS in connection with the activities of militancy in the Niger Delta area is based on information provided by this unstable Okah and should hold MEND responsible,” IPOB said.
The Biafra restoration organisation said the promise of early release of Okah included a deal whereby he was “required to issue a series of fake statements intended to drive a wedge between IPOB and the NDA both of whom have since closed ranks in total pursuit of the restoration of the nation of Biafra.
“The initial attempt by MEND to execute their own part of the deal on fake press releases failed woefully even with the backing of Nigerian journalists. Hence they changed tactics with the recent press release in which they lied that the leader of IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, has agreed in secret to renounce Biafra in order to be released.”
The Biafra agitators wondered why MEND should go out of its way and discuss renouncing of Biafra while negotiating with the federal government when it was not authorised to negotiate for IPOB and its detained leader, Kanu.
It noted that it was illogical that MEND should be “interested in Biafra and Kanu‘s release on one hand and on the other hand, asserted that ‘Biafra Republic’ aims to annex the Niger Delta region as part of its territory.“ The IPOB added that it could be that MEND “is poorly educated that they are unaware that the last Head of State of Biafra before the war ended in January is from the same Niger Delta.”
IPOB expressed disappointment that MEND has suddenly transformed into a collaborator with the oppressor, saying “for the information of the public, the so-called Jomo Gbomo of MEND is no other person that Charles Okah who is currently in Kuje prison and in his desperation for freedom has handed over MEND propaganda machinery to the DSS after late night meetings.
“It is a shame that MEND or what is left of it run from Kuje prison by Okah in concert with DSS allowed himself to be used as an informant for Hausa Fulani Islamic Nigeria and agent provocateur.
“He is not alone but all of them will join the long forgotten list of betrayers and turncoat that history has quickly forgotten. What a tragedy that the same womb that gave birth to the gallant Henry Okah could produce such a coward and traitor to the cause to liberate all territories of Biafraland,” IPOB said.