In a statement released following the attack, spokesman of the group, Jomo Gbomo, said the attack was carried out to frustrate the oil and gas business in the country.
The statement reiterated the regionâ€™s huge oil and gas deposit and pre-eminent position as the hub of the nationâ€™s economy, while lamenting its current state of ruin.
The online statement addressed to the Russian President reads: â€œGreetings from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) and welcome to Nigeria.
â€œYou must have been very impressed with Abuja as you rode from the airport to the Presidential villa. As you took in the new city and its frenzy of construction projects, you imagined huge potentials for business between Abuja and Moscow. You are wrong â€” for now.
â€œThe Abuja that you see is a child of rape and the President that you signed agreements with is an illegal Commander-in-Chief.
â€œI am sure you already know that the region where the wealth with which the city has been built remains mired in poverty and lack. That the people who own the resources have no stake in it for which we have now waged a war to emancipate.
â€œBy the way, Russian-made weapons have been very helpful and reliable in our campaign and by the time you return to sign the genuine agreements with the rightful owners of the oil and gas, we may consider a military pact to defend our hard-earned
â€œIt would have been nice to visit the region where you hope to develop gas and see the pathetic state the people live in. See for yourself the type of injustice that led the likes of Che Guevara, Fidel Castro and Patrice Lumumba to start a revolution.
â€œMr President, the agreements that you have signed in Abuja are worthless. MEND will ensure that. We would rather you sign agreement with every state under true federalism to develop the potentials that the nation has, from solid minerals to agriculture and not just a focus on oil and gas from a single region.
â€œAllow me re-freshen your memory on the Russian-backed iron and steel industry which has become a white elephant project and we fear the same fate may befall the Trans-Saharan Gas project where the only beneficiaries will be animals converting the inside of the pipes to a permanent abode.
â€œNothing can be certain in Africa except there is justice. We understand that countries like yours benefit more when dealing with corrupt despots in power but all that will change in the new Africa.
â€œYour visit has coincided with Hurricane Piper Alpha which struck again today, Thursday, June 25, 2009 at about 0025 Hrs at the major Shell Bille/Krakama pipeline in Rivers state to commemorate your visit.
Cawthorn Channel 1, 2 & 3 flow stations feeding the Bonny export terminal have been effectively put out of service.
â€œThis is the fate that awaits the gas pipelines you plan to invest in Nigeria if justice is not factored in the whole process. Enjoy your remaining Africa trip.â€