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Following the December 24, 2019 attack on the residence of ex President Goodluck Jonathan by armed men, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), paid a solidarity visit to him at his residence in Yenagoa in Bayelsa on Friday.
This was contained in a statement by MEND spokesman, Jomo Gbomo.
MEND sympathized with the former President and his family while emphasizing “the futility of violence and terror as means of enthroning a better deal for the Niger Delta region, except as a last resort”.
The rested militant group gave assurances that its unilateral ceasefire of May 30, 2015 still stands and reiterated its irrevocable commitment to peace.
MEND called on the President Muhammadu Buhari government “to initiate dialogue towards the release of the Okah brothers, Henry and Charles, as well as other individuals currently in prison and detention centres nationwide”.
MEND further pledged to work together with former President Jonathan towards bringing sustainable calm and development to the Niger Delta.
Responding, Jonathan thanked MEND for the visit and commended the group for its continued respect for peace.
He decried violence as a tool for negotiation and emphasized the paramount place of dialogue as key to cross-cultural understanding and global peace and security.
Jonathan pledged to work with MEND and other critical stakeholders in pursuance of comprehensive peace in the Niger Delta.