Ex-militants, MEND say they have lost confidence in Buhari over N-Delta

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A group of former Nigerian militants said on Sunday it had lost confidence in the president’s efforts to end attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta, a major goal in efforts to reach a lasting peace settlement, Reuters reports.

In its first public criticism of President Muhammadu Buhari, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) said he was “jeopardizing the fragile peace in the region” with public comments about the unrest while reneging on past agreements. MEND had backed Buhari in his 2015 presidential election campaign and urged militants behind the most recent spate of attacks to pursue peace talks with the government.

MEND, which was one of largest militant groups until it signed up for a government amnesty in 2009, said in a statement emailed on Sunday that it had passed “a vote of no confidence” in Buhari’s government. The presidency declined to comment on MEND’s statement. Buhari said in his New Year’s message on Saturday that he will seek a peace settlement in the oil-producing region.