By Odunewu Segun
Niger Delta militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has hailed the decision of the House of Representatives to summon former President Goodluck Jonathan over the accusation that he received $200 million as kickback in the Malabu oil scandal.
The group expressed it support for the moves by the House of Representatives to summon the former President to appear before the House to give answers to the myriad of questions concerning his role in OPL 245 saga.
MEND, in an online statement issued by its Spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo, alleged that ex-President Jonathan received $200 million as kickback from the oil deal, while urging the federal lawmakers to compel Jonathan’s appearance.
“Like millions of Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora, who have keenly followed the OPL 245 saga, we have reasonable grounds to suspect that former President Jonathan may have indeed compromised his high office with regard to the matter, more especially, given the fact that key officials of his administration, including the then Attorney-General of the Federation, Mohammed Bello Adoke, have been indicted and charged before the Federal High Court in Abuja,” the statement said.
“Where he (Jonathan) refuses to honour the invitation, we urge the House to invoke its inherent powers to compel his appearance.”
The militant group also said it was alarmed by media reports of the planned relocation of Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria Limited (SPDC) to Lagos from Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
If true, MEND urged the Anglo-Dutch oil giant to shelve the idea of relocating to Lagos, stressing that the move had the likely consequence of reawakening restiveness in the Niger Delta region.
“Besides the massive loss of jobs, opportunities, taxes and other incentives, the planned move (by SPDC) will cause in the medium to short term, it is clear to all stakeholders, including the Federal Government, that such a move is ill advised, especially against the backdrop of the recent directive from the federal government to the International Oil Companies (IOCs) to relocate to their areas of operation in the Niger Delta.
“To be sure, the Niger Delta region is no longer hostile to the business interests of the IOCs, including SPDC, as peace has since returned to the region; following the enervating efforts of MEND, the Pan-Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), the various state governments and the federal government. There is therefore no reason whatsoever for SPDC to relocate to Lagos.