The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has welcomed the move by Edwin Clark, Ijaw leader, to reunite the Okah brothers – Henry and Charles, with former President Goodluck Jonathan.
The brothers, who are standing trial for alleged terrorism, were arrested following the 2010 independence day bombing in Abuja.
Maintaining their innocence, the duo have not hesitated to lash out at Jonathan when they have the opportunity.
They even endorsed President Muhammadu Buhari in the buildup to the 2015 election, a deve that did not go down well the ex-president.
Flagging off his reelection campaign in Lagos, Jonathan publicly accused the Okah brothers of plotting to assassinate him.
“I saw a headline in one of the newspapers, saying MEND dumps Jonathan, did you see it?” he had asked.
“The leader of MEND is Henry Okah, Okah is in prison in South Africa, not even in Nigeria, where they could have said I manipulated it. Okah is in the prison because on October 1 2010 when we were to celebrate our independence, our golden year of independence, Okah was procured by some Nigerians to assassinate me.”
However, the days of disagreement seem to be coming to an end, as MEND has announced that the brothers are favourably disposed to backing down on the threat to file a N5 billion libel suit against the former number one citizen.
Jomo Gbomo, MEND spokesman, disclosed this in a statement issued on Sunday.
“The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) hereby welcomes and endorses the mediatory and conciliatory moves by Ijaw national leader Chief (Dr.) Edwin Kiagbodo Clark to reconcile the Okah brothers -Henry and Charles – with former President Goodluck Jonathan,” the statement read.
“Our endorsement is coming after Chief Clark held an exploratory meeting regarding amicable and peaceful resolution of the issue with the former President during the week, in Abuja.
“Chief Clark also invited and met separately with Counsel to the Okah brothers, Timipa Jenkins Okponipere, Esq., on September 1, 2016 in Abuja.
“The kernel of these meetings dwelt, essentially, on an out-of-court settlement of the FIVE BILLION NAIRA (N5B) libel suit against the former President. The meetings also dwelt on efforts to find sustainable solutions to the current Niger Delta crisis.
“We are indeed, sufficiently convinced that reconciliation between the Okah brothers, on the one hand; and former President Goodluck Jonathan, on the other hand; is in the overall interest of the Niger Delta region.
“More especially at this critical point when the region and its key actors and stakeholders must speak in unison so as to attract peace and development.
“We therefore hope and believe that, in a few days’ time, Chief Edwin Clark shall formally summon a meeting of the former President and Counsel to the Okah brothers to finalize and lay the issue(s) to rest.”