After a pause it its attacks in Nigeria, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, bombed a trunk pipeline, belonging to Eni SpA, ENI, at Brass in Bayelsa State and says it has resumed its attacks. MEND also threatened to bomb South African investments in Nigeria in protest of South Africa's President, Jacob Zuma, interference in their struggle for justice in Nigeria's oil producing communities.
Henry Okah, an alleged leader of MEND, is currently on trial in South Africa on terrorism related charges. MEND also accused the South African President of reducing himself to a thug for President Goodluck Jonathan saying, âIn the dark days to come, MTN, SACOIL, and other South African investments will pay a heavy price for the interference of Jacob Zuma in the legitimate fight for justice in the Niger Delta by its people. The South African President has reduced himself to the position of a hired thug for Goodluck Jonathanâ.
The trunk pipeline that was blown up carries crude oil to an export terminal in Brass, a coastal town that is southwest of Port-Harcourt in Rivers State. Eni SpA, ENI, says it is losing about 4,000 barrels of âequity productionâ per day from the incident.
In a statement, MEND said, "On Saturday the 4th of February at 1930hrs, fighters of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta attacked and destroyed the Agip trunk line at brass in Bayelsa State in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria."
âThis relatively insignificant attack is a reminder of our presence in the creeks of the Niger Delta and a sign of things to come. We have constantly warned Nigerians about Goodluck Jonathan and the people running Nigeria. Events of the last few months have vindicated our position. Rather than address serious issues facing the nation and its citizens, Goodluck Jonathan squanders public funds on tribalistic sycophants and thugs calling themselves ex-militants.
âNigerians should disregard the idle threats and ranting of imaginary militant groups and other hired âJonathan praise singers.â Besides empty talk, they are unable to help Jonathan in anyway. In fact most so called ex-militants are hiding in Abuja or Lagos, not venturing near their villages in the Niger Delta.
âOur silence thus far, has been strategic and at the right time, we will reduce Nigerian oil production to zero and drive off our land, thieving oil companies. British Petroleum is prepared to pay $25 billion compensation for the Gulf of Mexico oil spillage, yet for worse spillages in the Niger Delta; our people are paid with death at the hands of the Nigerian military.
The MEND understands the negative impact our assault on the Nigerian oil industry will have on the ordinary citizen in a country which relies almost entirely on one source of revenue. Unfortunately, the floundering government of Nigeria is more concerned with enriching themselves than attending to the problems of the Niger Delta and the continuously depreciating standard of living of the ordinary Nigerian.
âA government incapable of managing roads, refineries, power stations and other basic infrastructure is again squandering valuable public funds on a committee tasked with investigating the viability of nuclear energy for electricity generation. The government of Nigeria is incapable of safely disposing household refuse.
How then do they plan to deal with the toxic by-product of nuclear energy? In this new phase of our struggle for justice, the MEND will pay considerable attention to dealing with security forces and traitorous indigenes of the Niger Delta.
âIn this regard, MEND wishes to confirm that our fighters were responsible for the attack at Ogbobagbene in Burutu Local Government area of Delta State, on the compound of Godsday Orubebe, Minister for Niger Delta.
The general public is again advised to take very seriously, any warnings of impending bombings. Such warnings will always precede a bombing, providing sufficient time for evacuation. Specific members of the security services and the media will in addition to email, receive notification of an impending attacks by SMS in order to minimize the possibility of civilian casualties.â
Responding, the Joint Military Task Force, now codenamed Operation Pulo (Oil) Shield, condemned the attack and said "...unfortunately, people who were never part of the agitation have emerged and want to claim amnesty and its benefits by force. The JTF advises Niger Deltans to be mindful of people, who are out to swindle them by wrongfully appropriating the identity of the erstwhile leadership of MEND to curry sympathy for their selfish and criminal interests.â
Reacting to the threat against South African investments in Nigeria, MTN said it is leaving security matters to Nigerian and South African authorities, while South Africaâs Ministry of International Relations and Cooperation said it would take the threats seriously and will investigate them and also work with the Nigerian authorities to deal with the issue.