Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has resumed hostilities in the Niger Delta region.
The militant group’s field operatives yesterday about 5 am stealthily attached portable military limpet explosives magnetically to two articulated tanker vehicles laden with petrol in a queue outside the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) depot in Abaji, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
In a statement by its spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, the devices with a predictable outcome were timed to detonate simultaneously several seconds later.
He said this segment of Exodus codenamed ‘Operation Touch and Go’ is targeted at the soft underbelly (downstream sector) of the oil industry in Nigeria.
“From today, every tanker vehicle we find distributing petroleum products, including propane gas has become a legitimate target in our war against injustice, corruption, despotism and oppression.
“Drivers of tanker vehicles continue to drive them at their own risk. The public is hereby advised to maintain a safe distance from such vehicles as they can explode anytime and anywhere, ” he said.
He warned that harassment of the tanker vehicles would be sustained until the following demands are met: “Henry Okah, his brother Charles and other innocent persons set up as scapegoats and held over the October 1, 2010, twin car bombings in Abuja should be released unconditionally.
“That an unreserved apology be tendered by the Nigerian government to MEND for presenting a forged email letter threatening the South African government purportedly originated from us and used as evidence in the sham trial and conviction of Henry Okah.
“That a separate independent body outside Nigeria investigates the forged letter so as to ascertain its authenticity and make their findings public.
“That since our struggle has never been about Goodluck Jonathan’s Presidency, nor about being beneficiaries of dubious pipeline protection contracts and other forms of bribery, a conference to address the injustice, underdevelopment, environmental degradation and outstanding root issues confronting the Niger Delta region must be fixed to hold within three months and that Mrs. Diezani Alison-Madueke resigns as Minister of Petroleum.”