MEND VOWS TO ATTACK MTN
Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has served notice that it would carry out attacks on all MTN mobile communications facilities in the Niger Delta region. This came barely 24 hours after it claimed responsibility for the deadly attack on an Agip truck oil pipeline at Clough Creek, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.
MEND also restated its resolve to launch more attacks against the oil industry. The militant group said in a statement by its spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, that it would sustain its attacks on the oil industry, adding that it would soon release a set of guidelines to MTN employees, customers and owners of property accommodating the facilities of the company.
According to MEND, the planned attack on MTN was because of the involvement of South African government in the trial of Henry Okah, saying that the whole purpose of the amnesty offered by the late President Umar Yar Adua had been distorted by President Goodluck Jonathan.
The group said it had never respected Jonathan, who it alleged has shown he cannot address the problems of the Niger Delta region. It vowed that the Nigerian oil industry and South African investments in Nigeria would witness an assault unprecedented in the history of armed conflict in the Niger Delta.
The statement reads in part: 'On Friday, April 13, 2012, at about 0210hrs Nigerian time, fighters of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) attacked and destroyed one manifold and one well head on a trunk line operated by Agip Oil Company in Clough Creek, Bayelsa State, in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.
As opposed to our earlier intentions, there will be no pause in our assault on the Nigerian oil industry. There will forthwith be sustained strikes on all pipelines and facilities remotely related to the Nigerian oil industry. Additionally, MEND will commence attacks on MTN South Africa infrastructure in the Niger Delta region.
Concerning attacks on MTN-related infrastructure, MEND will issue shortly, a set of guidelines to MTN employees, customers, and owners of properties accommodating MTN communication equipment. These guidelines are intended to minimize civilian casualties and forestall unnecessary destruction of privately owned properties accommodating MTN equipment.'
The statement continued: 'Nigerians will recall that the unconditional offer of amnesty made in good faith by the late President Yar' Adua was intended to create a conducive atmosphere for dialogue aimed at addressing the demands of the people of the Niger Delta. A Jonathan presidency and amnesty for militants were not part of our demands and therefore, will never be a solution to armed agitation for justice in the Niger Delta.
President Goodluck Jonathan has mismanaged the goodwill demonstrated by MEND by misrepresenting himself and his band of charlatans as the reason for the relative calm experienced in the Niger Delta. We have never had any respect for Jonathan and today, most Nigerians understand why. To date, not one of the demands put forward to the Yar'Adua government has been met, neither has the Nigerian government initiated dialogue aimed at addressing any of our demands.'