Showing posts with label MEND. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MEND. Show all posts

Monday, October 4, 2010

President Goodluck Jonathan Does Not Need These Bloody Distractions

What happened to Nigeria on October 1, 2010, is not what I would even wish for my worst enemy. To be given a birthday present of bombs that killed over 11 of your children and left several others injured. The terrorist bombings on the very 50th Independence Anniversary of Nigeria was roundly condemned and denounced by every sensible Nigerian and other people in the world. President Goodluck Jonathan , formers heads of state, prominent leaders, invited leaders of other countries, other important dignitaries and thousands of others at the Eagle Square, venue of the Golden Jubilee celebrations were shocked and embarrassed by the horrifying and terrifying bomb blasts.

I was in Lagos reporting the 50th Independence day parade as I was watching the live broadcast on TV when I received the bad news. TheMovement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta claimed responsibility for the terrorist bombings. The foreign news media as usual reported the tragedy before our own local news media and I got the first pictures of the incident from the websites of the Vancouver Sun and other foreign news channels.

What happened was bad and those who did it were bad as they made Nigerians sad.
Nigeria is not Pakistan, Iraq, Afghanistan, India, Lebanon and other parts of the world where terrorist bombings were common. Nigeria is not a terrorist state. We don’t blow up ourselves. No, this not our way. We are better and wiser than that. We do not breed suicide bombers. So, what MEND and those responsible for these horrible bombings have done is against our beliefs, customs and traditions. Dialogue would solve more problems than killing innocent people. MEND will account for the blood of the innocent people who were killed by the bomb blasts on October 1, 2010.

According to the BBC:
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (Mend) is a loose web of armed groups in Nigeria’s oil-producing Niger Delta region.

These gangs have spent years kidnapping oil workers, attacking oil fields, blowing up pipelines and fighting Nigeria’s army.

Niger Delta politicians originally created the gangs – by arming young men to use as their private armies and to rig elections.

But later, the young men began to turn the guns on the government, and oil companies, organising into a militant movement, under the banner Mend.

Formed out of previous militant groups in 2006 Send regular e-mails to media Split into several factions Most leaders accepted amnesty 1 October attack first in Abuja Based in creeks of Niger Delta Want oil wealth to remain in Delta Preaching non-violence to militants The day Nigeria hit oil ‘Blood oil’ dripping from Nigeria They demand that the Delta receive more benefits from its oil, with a fairer share of the wealth invested in roads, schools, hospitals, clean water and power supply.

~ Caroline Duffield of BBC News, Lagos

President Goodluck Jonathan doubts if MEND would commit such a horrible crime of terrorism. Many reporters said MEND warned that bombs would be exploded in cars and trash bins in Abuja on the 50th Independence Anniversary and the bombs exploded as MEND warned. And MEND did not deny that it was responsible for the terrorist attack. Kidnappers, armed robbers, bloody militants and other lunatic fringe elements are enemies of progress and the sooner we track them down and round them up, the better and safer we would be.

President Goodluck Jonathan is being challenged to preside over the 2011 elections and such acts of terrorism do not augur well for his administration. In fact, he does not need such bloody distractions. He promised President Barack Obama that the 2011 elections will be free and fair and his hands are already full and anyone who believes in the Nigerian Dream of a new dawn of peace, prosperity and unity should support him to keep his promise for the nation building of a New Nigeria in the leadership of Africa among the comity of nations.

God save Nigeria.

~ By Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, author of Barack Obama and the American Dream.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bombs Kill 8 and Injure Others in Abuja as Nigeria turns 50

Breaking: Nigeria: Sixteen Child Hostages Freed

Bombs Kill 8 and Injure Others in Abuja as Nigeria turns 50

A policeman stands near a damaged car following a blast in Abuja during the 50th independence anniversary ceremony in Abuja on October 1, 2010. Explosions rocked an area near Nigeria's independence celebrations on Friday and killed at least seven people following threats from oil militants, witnesses and a police source said. Photograph by: Pius Utomi Ekpei, AFP/Getty. From The Vancouver Sun .

8 people were reported killed and over 21 others injured in Nigeria's Independence Day bombs.

The daring Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) rocked Abuja with bomb blasts in defiance of the government’s celebration of the 50th Independence Anniversary of Nigeria. The loud explosions of car bombs shook the capital city, with one explosion 1 km away from the parade grounds of the Eagle Square where President Goodluck Jonathan was attending the Independence Day parade.

Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan waves during a military parade marking Nigeria's 50th independence anniversary in Abuja October 1, 2010. Car bomb explosions killed eight people and injured three near a parade in Nigeria's capital on Friday marking the 50th anniversary of independence, police said.
Photograph by: Afolabi Sotunde, REUTERS. From The Vancouver Sun

MEND warned that there is nothing worth celebrating after 50 years of failure. And accused the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP) of plundering the mineral resources in the oil rich Niger Delta region.

Niger Delta militants in action

Click here for a detailed report.

Rampant corrupt practices have undermined development in Africa’s most populous country where democracy has failed and replaced by what has been condemned as a "kleptocracy", a government of avaricious political contractors and their capitalist collaborators, sycophantic cronies and beneficiaries.

The government has failed to secure lives and properties in Nigeria as rising crimes of kidnappings, robberies and assassinations make daily headlines. The poverty stricken masses are suffering and still smiling and praying for divine intervention in a country where regular power supply, a three square meal or receiving good healthcare is a miracle.

Many of the dare-devil militants, kidnappers, armed robbers, assassins and other lunatic fringe elements were former political thugs and goons employed by the corrupt rulers in rigging elections and for illegal oil bunkering, but these demons they created have turned against them.

Illegal bunkering is still going on while the fake amnesty is being used to fool the ignorant masses.

MEND knows that the PDP wants to use the Niger Delta born President Goodluck Jonathan to woo and to deceive the gullible masses and hoodwink his people in the Niger Delta.

When Prof. Ben Nwabueze (SAN) asked for a bloody revolution on July 7, 2010, he was warning the government of the grave consequences of the impunity of the corrupt ruling party and to challenge the eminent Nigerians and others who were at the public presentation of his latest book; "Colonialism in Africa: Ancient and Modern (Volumes 1 & 2)", at the Nigeria Institute of International Affairs, Kofo Abayomi, Victoria Island, Lagos. But did they repent?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

The Untold Truth About the Niger Delta Crisis

The Untold Truth About the Niger Delta Crisis

• MEND is not responsible for the Niger Delta Crisis
• The Nigerian Government and Multinational Oil Companies are responsible for the Niger Delta Crisis
• The Solution to the Niger Delta Crisis is the Administration of True Federal Democracy as Practiced by the United States of America.

In 2004 as I was aggrieved by the rampant cases of cultism and gangesterism in Rivers state and the destruction of innocent lives and properties, I felt the urgency to address the critical issues and meet with the leading principal actors I could reach and persuade them to end the violence. I informed the international headquarters of Shell of my pacific mission before I left Lagos for Port Harcourt on a night coach.

I arrived Diobu at midnight and was told that the town was a danger zone after the mayhem caused by warring cultists. But I went on to the residence of my elder sister Mrs. P William-West on Nnewi Street in Rumumasi. I discussed my mission with her two sons and daughters and one of my nephews told me that he had to leave a cult when he saw one of his closest friends shot and killed in a violent clash with a rival cult in the oil city of Port Harcourt in 2003. I told him I was glad he had become born-again as he confessed. He gave me the details of the genesis of the cultism ravaging Rivers state since they were affected by the violence from their home town in Buguma to the state capital of Port Harcourt. I stayed for a couple of days and crossed over to Bonny Island to continue my investigation and pre-production of my documentary on the causes and consequences of the Niger Delta crisis aggravated by the recruitment of many members of the cults as political thugs of the ruling People’s Democratic Party (PDP).

From my safe haven on Bonny Island, I contacted an insider named Felix and told him of my critical mission and we agreed to meet at a popular hotel off Olu Obasanjo Road in Port Harcourt. He told me that Shell and the other multinational oil companies operating in the littoral states of the Niger Delta were not interested in peace, but to fish in the troubled waters, because they had little or nothing to lose. They were breaching the contract of the MOU they signed with the Federal Republic of Nigeria and they did not care about the devastation of the eco-system or the deprivations of the host communities.
Their cosmetic social community welfare projects and scholarships were only meant to white-wash their horrible and terrible acts since they began oil exploration in the Niger Delta region. I found out that the hotel was owned by a retired Major in the Nigerian Army and he has been actively engaged in illegal oil bunkering with other retired and active senior military officers, especial those in the Nigerian Navy and their criminal activities were not secret. Those engaged in illegal oil bunkering and those who acquired oil blocks were partners in crime and were well known title-holders in their respective communities. In fact my in-law Asari Dokubo, the leader of the Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force (NDPVF) had a suite in the hotel.

I returned to Bonny Island and called Asari and we discussed on how to put an end to the violence and he told me that he was already now engaged in providing security service for the oil service companies in the region and was no longer engaged in any violent dispute with any rival cult or gang. I was glad to hear that and told Felix that Asari would fare better as a leader by contesting in a democratic election and could in fact be elected as the governor of Rivers state.
“He only needs to improve his manner of dressing and public relations,” I said.
I was glad that Asari would be willing to participate in my documentary film and commended the website Akumafiete of the Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force

I was meeting with a top official of the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in Lagos, because Shell wanted to sponsor my documentary film and in fact the top official asked me if the documentary could be produced in a week, which was not realistic, even though I was working with one of the best filmmakers in Nigeria who has won awards for his documentaries.

I was still making progress when the Nigerian government ordered for the arrest of Asari Dokubo and detained him for outrageous statements of treasonable felony. I warned the government to release him or the situation in the volatile Niger Delta region would become worse. But the government ignored my warning and the SPDC now felt that the government had succeeded in caging the lion of the Niger Delta militants and thought the unconstitutional detention of Asari Dokubo would tame the thousands of members of the Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force and allied groups. But I warned the government there was a greater militant group in the offing and they thought I was joking until the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) shot up from the creeks!

The solution to the protracted Niger Delta crisis is the administration of true Federal Democracy as practiced by the United States of America and this is what both MEND and NDPVF have been demanding for and also the prosecution of all the retired and serving senior military officers found guilty of illegal oil bunkering.
The Nigerian Navy can actually stop illegal oil bunkering by asking for the assistance of the US Navy to patrol the territorial waters of Nigeria and to attack all tankers, boats and barges engaged in illegal oil bunkering since they can be easily identified from the authorized tankers and vessels on Nigerian waters.
Then the multinational oil companies must be prosecuted for the violations of the MOU they signed with the Federal Republic of Nigeria since 1956 to date.

The Joint Task Force of the Nigerian Armed Forces in the Niger Delta should be withdraw, because it an unconstitutional mission.
All licenses of illegal oil blocks must be withdrawn.
The local and foreign bank accounts of Nigerians suspected of ill-gotten wealth from misappropriations of revenue allocations for the oil producing states and over-invoicing of government contracts should investigated and those found guilty should be prosecuted in a public trial and not behind closed doors.

The former President, Olusegun Obasanjo, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, the former governor of Bayelsa State and Obasanjo's successor, President Umaru Musa Yar'Adua have the full list of the criminals who are still engaged in illegal oil bunkering in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Nigeria: Civil War Looms As Federal Troops Invade Niger Delta

A Niger Delta militant in full battle gear.

Fears of another internecine civil war loom large in Nigeria 42 years after the last civil war that claimed over one million lives and left over 20 million people as refugees. Over 1, 000 people have been killed and over 20, 000 others displaced when the ruthless troops of the Nigerian Armed Forces invaded the Niger Delta of Nigeria last week.

The Niger Delta region has been under siege as federal troops and militants engaged in bloody war over illegal oil bunkering and resource control of the oil rich south-south states of Nigeria.

The Joint Task Force (JTF) of the Nigerian Armed Forces declared total war on the rebel forces of Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) and launched a land, sea and air operation on Gbaramatu Kingdom and other villages in the creeks of the Delta State after the militant rebels killed 10 military officers at Camp 5 in Oporoza. Several villages have been bombed and razed in the siege, but the guerrillas of MEND have been able to repel the 7000 troops, gunboats and jet bombers of the JTF.

Militants have been kidnapping oil workers and destroying oil installations of the multinational oil companies and reducing the production of crude oil by a quarter in Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa and eighth largest oil producer in the world. The Niger Delta militants called freedom fighters want more control of their oil and gas and better life for the oil communities devastated by decades of both legal and illegal oil exploration.

As the federal troops continued the bombardment of rebel camps and villages in the creeks, leading human rights groups have sent peace delegations to Prime Minister Gordon Brown of Britain and other world leaders to persuade the Federal Government of Nigeria to end the siege to reduce the growing humanitarian crisis in the Niger Delta.

~ Orikinla Osinachi, reporting from Nigeria.

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