On this day, Nigeria’s militant group, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), called an indefinite ceasefire to encourage dialogue with the government.
In a bid to halt the violence in this Niger/Delta region, the Yar’Adua administration offered unconditional pardon to armed activists who laid down their arms and said it was open to dialogue.
According to Jomo Gbomo, spokesperson for the Movement, said the group’s shift in position came after the government expressed its readiness to engage in serious and meaningful dialogue with every group or individual towards achieving a lasting peace in the Niger Delta.
Many fighters in the Niger Delta had put down their weapons under a government amnesty programme that began in August and ended earlier in the month.
The leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, Henry Okah, who was freed in July after two years in jail for high treason and arms trafficking, urged rebels, who have shunned a government amnesty, to give dialogue a chance.
Government officials said that more than 8,000 fighters disarmed under the deal, which granted the fighters an unconditional pardon in return for peace.
Fighters in the Delta region had attacked and kidnapped hundreds of oil workers, including dozens of foreigners. They had attacked pipelines and offshore facilities.
October 25, 1967
On this day, the prices of petrol and other petroleum products were jacked up by one penny per gallon. According to an announcement by the Federal Military Government of Nigeria, the change would affect premium motor spirit (pms), regular motor spirit (rmp), diesel and automotive gas oil (ago), kerosene (dpk) and lubricants.
Also on this day, the head of the Federal Military Government, Major- General Yakubu Gowon, called on the people of the East Central State who fled their homes before the advancing Federal troops, to return, “because there is nothing to fear.”
The Commander-in-Chief made those remarks during a press interview with correspondents of three foreign influential news media based in Lagos. The correspondents were: Mr. Angus McDonald of the BBC, Mr. Sean Kelly of the Voice of America, and Mr. Arnold Zeitlin of the Associated Press. Some of the questions that were put to the head of state were:
Question: General Gowon, how would you assess the military prospects now?
Answer: I think the military prospects have been very good all along. You know that we really have never suffered any defeat. What we have told the nation at any time is the correct story.
Question: Have things been going more slowly than you expected?
Answer: I am quite sure that if you have listened to my various answers to these questions, I have always said that I am always practical as far as military operations are concerned.