The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has vowed to cripple Nigeria’s oil industry by halting exports from the Niger Delta according to a statement released to the media yesterday.
MEND expressed regret for the loss of innocent lives in the New Year’s Day attack in Port Harcourt by Ateke Tom but praised him for the attack and promised to support him providing him arms including anti-aircraft gunships to wage battle with Nigerian security forces.
“The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) commiserates with the families of the victims killed on New Year’s Day in Port Harcourt by the Nigeria Police Force after the attack by fighters of the Niger Delta Vigilante Movement.
“In its characteristic manner, the undisciplined Nigerian army resulted to an unnecessary scorched earth policy during a raid on the camp of Ateke Tom in Okrika. The burning of vehicles, boats, houses and looting was uncalled for in the first place, which resulted to the New Year reprisal attack on Port Harcourt.
“Our call for unity amongst every fighting force in the Niger Delta against a common enemy makes it imperative that MEND take sides in spite of our differences with Ateke Tom and will support him with fighters and heavy weapons including anti- aircraft. Today, the main factions in MEND are back together as one formidable force ready to fight against injustice and criminality.
“The injustice we refer to is the rape of the Niger Delta for decades; using its wealth to develop other regions of the country and oppression of the people. The criminals are the government of Nigeria, oil majors, corrupt politicians like the Obasanjo family, and the officers and men of the armed forces who are involved in oil bunkering, rape of our women, girls and little boys by gay soldiers, extra judicial killings, robbery, harassment of innocent civilians through involvement in civil matters and debt collection. Even with its huge budget, greedy officers in the military Joint Task Force (JTF) continue to hoodwink the governors in the region for money under one excuse or the other.
“We salute our agents inside the armed forces for a job well done! The leakage of classified information meant to annihilate us during a fraudulent peace initiative has prepared us for the bloody fight in2008. Our goal remains to paralyse 100 percent of Nigeria ’s oil export in one swipe.”
In the email signed by Jomo Gbomo, MEND advised civilians in the region to be cautious and avoid mingling in areas populated by military personnel.
“Civilians inside capital cities in the Niger Delta states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Delta, and Rivers are advised to avoid milling around army check points and Armoured Personnel Carriers as they have become targets for attacks by explosive devices.”