An online interview with Cynthia Whyte, the Spokesperson of the Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC); comprising the Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force (NDPVF), Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) and Martyr’s Brigade (MB), on the applause by MEND Spokesperson, Gbomo Jomo, of the indictment of Allen Onyema, Air Peace Chairman, by the Unites States authorities.
By Kalada Jumbo
Question: Last week, Gbomo Jomo, Spokesman of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) applauded the indictment of the Chairman of Air Peace by the United States of America.
What is the position of the Joint Revolutionary Council on this?
Between 2005 and 2007, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta was a filial unit of the Joint Revolutionary Council. That relationship continued even after that unit of MEND and their South African based backer was expelled by the Tompolo led MEND.
Right now, I do not know where to place such people. The key drivers of that movement have long moved on with their lives with most of them serving their people and their communities today.
The remainders, exist only through an email address which is operated from a deeply confined security space somewhere in Nigeria.
That said, this is not the time to respond to agents of blackmail, greed, filth, violence, malice and decadence, which that MEND represents.
People who traded in guns, violence and mischief have no place in a conversation centered on peace, goodwill and development.
While this is not a defense of Allen Onyema, it is absurd that people who traded guns with our young people, and then encouraged these people to engage in bank robbery and kidnapping of oil companies for ransom so they can pay for their guns should not the same people calling others corrupt.
Thousands of armed young men were left stranded in the creeks of the Niger Delta by these gun runners. These young men became a menace to our communities and societies.
It took ‘strangers’ like Allen Onyema and some others to step in and bring the promise of hope and a better life for so many of them.
They sold us guns. Allen Onyema sold us peace.
At a time when the United States Government was not offering Visas to high risk youths in the Niger Delta, it was Allen Onyema who came in and ensured that some of our boys could enroll in Non Violence Training Programmes offered by the Martin Luther King Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
How can you then compare such people? Go and have a recheck. They built mansions for themselves in South Africa, Abuja and Lagos with the billions they made from gun running, kidnapping and related acts of violence and debauchery.
Go and ask them how they were able to build such majestic five-star mansions for themselves and then ask them what they did to create jobs and prosperity for their people?
Ask them what value they added to the GDP of their communities? None! Until this day, they remain merchants of guns, violence and death. They are serial conmen and merchants of evil who have left lots of blood in their trail.
Save for the amnesty programme, these people should have been executed by now. They added no real sustainable value to the struggle for the liberation and emancipation of the Niger Delta. So please leave us out of discussions on that unit of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). We know the true leaders and we respect them until this day.
Why should we be concerned with the antiques of these jailbirds and their associates who are still battling to remain relevant from the current abodes?
It is totally unnecessary.
Those who followed the travails of Innoson Vehicles and its Chairman, Innocent Chukwuma in the hands of GT Bank and its EFCC collaborators will be careful and cautious in indicting Allen Onyema and Air Peace.
Allen Onyema is a Goodwill Ambassador of the Niger Delta and we will not be party to any attempt to disparage or denigrate him.
That said, we expect Allen Onyema to put up a good defense for himself. So far, no American bank has accused him of defrauding them or absconding with their money. He is innocent until proven guilty.
Those who really claim to wish the Niger Delta well should redirect their energies to resource control and a total restructuring of the Nigerian state.
Thank you for your concern.