There are strong indications that the Okah brothers, Henry and Charles and the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, IPOB, Nnamdi Kanu, may be released soon.
The deal for their release is part of the ongoing preliminary talks between the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND and the Federal Government through the oil companies and security agencies.
Henry Okah is in a South African Prison while Charles is held in Kuje Prison, Abuja.
According to a statement by MEND, it has also been agreed that ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, would not be harassed by government if he makes himself available as a delegate on MEND Aaron Team 2, while Kanu, would be released on condition that he renounces the agitation for “Biafra Republic.”
The statement issued by MEND’s spokesman, Gbomo Jomo on Saturday, disclosed that other breakthroughs were made in the discussions that will end the revolt in the South-South and South East regions in a jiffy.
It however added that the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, which has remained recalcitrant, still has the opportunity to embrace peace failing which a combination of military forces and volunteers in the region, would smoke them out.
The statement read: “The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) is the only militant group from the Niger Delta region who are presently engaged in a dialogue with the Federal Government of Nigeria – through oil companies and security agencies -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 Mr. Government Ekpemupolo shall not be arrested, harassed and/or intimidated whenever he makes himself available as a delegate of the MEND Aaron Team.
“That international arbitrator and conflict negotiator, American Dr. Judith Asuni shall 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 shall be reviewed.
“That the life sentence which was handed to seven soldiers in 2008, who actively supported the Niger Delta struggle be reviewed under the Presidential Amnesty Programme. The affected persons are: Suleiman Alabi Akubo, Major. Mathias Peter, SGT, Alexander Davou, L.Cpl., Moses Nwaigwe, L.Cpl., Nnandi Anene, L.Cpl. Taatihi Emmanuel, L.Cpl Caleb Bawa, PTE.”
“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”; while MEND would commence a meet-the Government-Actors-and-People tour of the Niger Delta region code-named “Operation Moses”.
It would be recalled that the NDA had said recently that the only interest MEND has in the dialogue with the federal government is the release of the Okah brothers.
By Timothy Enietan-Matthews
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