MEND demands Okah’s release before talks with Boko Haram-Channelstv

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has  threatened “serious consequences”  using technological warfare if the federal government agrees to demands made by members of the Islamic sect, Boko Haram without releasing its leader, Henry Okah.

MEND in a statement released by an official of the militant group, Comrade Azizi, warned that if conditions given by Boko Haram were granted without the release of their leader, Henry Okah and other members of the group, “there will be serious consequences”.

The group which prior to the Amnesty programme attacked a number of oil installations across the country, added that with its  latest technological know-how, its renewed onslaught will affect the entire country including the oil and non-oil sectors.

“The high command of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta wishes to inform the Federal Government and all security agencies in Nigeria that if these conditions given by boko haram are granted without the release of our dear leader (Henry Okah) and other members of our movement, there will be serious consequences which with our latest technological know-how, will affect the entire country including the oil and non-oil sectors respectively” the statement read.

Boko Haram on Wednesday offered to hold talks with the federal government ahead of a planned ceasefire giving some conditions for such dialogue to hold.

Henry Okah is currently standing trial in South Africa for terrorism against the Nigerian government over the 2010 Independence Day anniversary bombings in Abuja, while the nation marked the 50th independence anniversary.

The group, like their counterparts in the north, outlined conditions to be met by the federal government, warning that if the conditions are not met, the Nigerian state will face the wrath of “our latest technological know-how”.

The conditions include:

-Stop further prosecution of our leader (Henry Okah)

-Release all members of the movement held in various detention centers in Nigeria

-Compensate families of our members killed by the Government security agencies.

-Withdraw all military personnel and tanks in the region

-Handing over resource control to the region.

MEND in the statement further regretted the inability of the federal government to live up to its responsibility of protecting the lives and property of inhabitants of the Niger Delta region and its failure to hand over the control of the resources in the oil rich region since independence.

“It is regrettable that for the past 52 years of independence, the Federal Government has failed in it’s responsibilities to protect the lives and properties of the Niger Deltans and most importantly, handing over the control of our resources to the region rather the Federal Government finds it appropriate to use the money generated from our resources in developing other regions which we no longer can take” the statement concluded.