Daily Post however reports that the group in a statement on Sunday, July 31 said it had cancelled its planned declaration and credited former president, Goodluck Jonathan and other top Ijaws for the move.The group however said it â€œwill not stop until the Nigerian government is ready to sit on a round-table to dialogue and to restructure Nigeria.â€ â€œWe received calls from prominent leaders like Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, Mrs. Ankio Briggs, Chief. E. K. Clark and especially King Alfred Dieter Spiff calling on the freedom fighters to abort their mission to declare Niger Delta Republic.â€ The group said its motive was not selfish and said it cancelled the declaration following appeal from leaders from the region. â€œWe adhere to the voice of our people, because our struggle is for the Niger Delta people and not for selfish reason. But this is not the end. More is yet to come. â€œOur mission to cripple the economy of the Nigerian nation will not stop until the Nigerian government is ready to sit on a roundtable to dialogue and to restructure the Nigeria. â€œUnless that, we will not stop until Nigeria becomes a zero economy. We are also saying this for the benefit of President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerian government to stop wasting their time with those greedy fellows that call themselves MEND because nothing good will come out of them rather than sabotage.
â€œThose old fools cannot stop us and they know it very well. We know what they are after is all about stipends. â€œEverything they are saying, not even one will be accomplished. We will never agree with anything they say and henceforth MEND should watch their back because we have tolerated them for a very long time. â€œEnough is enough, since they want to set confusion in the Niger Delta we will start from them.â€ Meanwhile, there was tension in Bayelsa state following the presence of military personnel in the region as a result of the threat by the groupâ€™s threat to declare a republic. Armed troops stormed Kaima Community of Kolokuma/Opokuma local government to stop any declaration of an independent region. The operation tagged â€œOperation Delta Safeâ€ is expected to search and stop any criminal activities in Kaima Community which was the venue of a similar declaration by Ijaw youths in 1998. Residents of Kaima Community confirmed the movement of troops to the community and said it started on Saturday, July 30 with a stop-and-search operation on vehicles moving along a section of the East-West road.