Hear MEND and see my reactions below…
“Effective, 0000 Hrs, Wednesday, July 15, 2009, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) will be observing a temporary ceasefire for a 60 day period.
Several factors necessitated our decision; chiefly the release of Mr. Henry Okah from government custody.
During this period, the Aaron team of wise men and women will be put together after consultations with relevant stakeholders. They will speak on our behalf and convey our demands to government.
A compulsory prelude to talks is the withdrawal of the military Joint Task Forces from the Gbaramatu communities and the return of all the displaced persons back to their various homes.
Hopefully, the ceasefire period will create an enabling environment for progressive dialogue.”
Point is, MEND gives me mixed feelings. The above Press Release sounds so pompous and so much of an anti-climax. Perhaps MEND now regrets so much bloodletting that it grasps the excuse of an Henry Okah release to declare a “cease-fire”. Time enough to give the young men (un-used to such mindless killings) a chance to recover their sanity.
“Aaron team of wise men and women”. Bah! Now if that is not childish and pompous, I wonder what is. Who do MEND really think that they are? Eh?
And speaking of Henry Okah. My hypothesis has always been that he it was that was “Jomo Gbomo”. Any discerning reader would have noticed that shortly after the arrest of Henry Okah in Angola, there was an imperceptible lull in “Jomo Gbomo’s” declarations, and then slowly it resumed again. But it had lost the verbal acuity, dexterity and style of Henry Okah. MEND was aware that the “anonymity” of “Jomo Gbomo” was a powerful public relations tool, so it was desperate to show that Henry Okah was NOT Jomo Gbomo. And subsequent Press Releases tried to restore the former writing style… but some of us were not fooled.
Now that Henry Okah is out, he can no longer unfortunately enjoy the anonymity of times past and it is left to see what he does with himself.