MEND threatens to resume hostilities in Niger Delta

By Samuel  Oyadongha

Yenagoa — Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, yesterday, said it will from Friday, resume hostilities in the Niger Delta region,  in protest against the conviction of Henry Okah in South Africa.

MEND, in a statement by its spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, said the attacks would be sustained until an unreserved apology was offered to it, and the Nigerian government shows  willingness to dialogue, same way the government is willing to dialogue with the Boko Haram sect.

It said: “After a careful deliberation and other considerations, with effect from 00:00 Hrs, Friday, April 5, 2013, MEND will commence with a plague of sustained attacks codenamed Hurricane Exodus.

“Hurricane Exodus is a direct repercussion of a forged threat letter contrived by the Nigerian and South African governments purporting to have originated from MEND.”

It said that the alleged fake latter by MEND, was used as evidence against Henry Okah, for which a 13-year sentence was slammed on him.

“We are now determined to conjure this imaginary trumped up threat into a painful reality. The attacks will be sustained until an unreserved apology is offered to MEND and the Nigerian government shows willingness to dialogue, the same way they are willing to dialogue with Boko Haram,” MEND said.

But, Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta, code named Operation Pulo Shield, has said that it was prepared for the challenges ahead, citing its recent redeployment to tackle any upheaval in the region.

Warning the group to tow the path of dialogue, Media Coordinator of JTF, Lt. Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, said: “JTF, Operation Pulo Shield, has got wind of the threat prior to the  issuance of the statement, Wednesday, by some persons, parading themselves as MEND.

“Niger Deltans are not in any bondage and therefore, do not require armed struggle or emancipation as claimed by this threatening gang. What Niger Deltans are in dire need of now, is peace for sustainable development having emerged from the dark days of turbulence in the region. Informed by this development, JTF has  effected some redeployment to tackle any upheaval.

“These people are advised to tow the path of law and order in addressing whatever grievance they may have and desist from any action that will upset the peace and development of Niger Delta. The good and peace loving people of the Niger Delta are enjoined to dissociate themselves, their communities and leadership from this unwholesome approach as represented by this group.”

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