YENAGOA- MOVEMENT for Emancipation of the Niger-Delta (MEND), the chief militant group in the Niger-Delta region gave the Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) a little breather on Wednesday, but it shifted its attention to the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) with the bombing of a major crude oil trunk line operated by the company in Bayelsa State.
MENDâ€™s spokesman, Jomo Gbomo in an online statement said, â€œPiper Alpha veered off course to show its displeasure at the manner the government has reacted to the extra -judicial killings of two brothers by the JTF that was caught on tape. This attack is dedicated to the brothers.
According to him, â€œAt about 2030 Hrs, Wednesday, June 17, 2009, fighters from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) in furtherance of Hurricane Piper Alpha (our campaign to cripple the entire oil and gas export of the Federal Republic of Nigeria), destroyed with high explosives a major crude oil trunk line in Bayelsa state belonging to Shellâ€.
â€œThis delivery line, which supplies the Forcados export terminal, takes feed from the Tunu, Opukusu and Ugbotubu flow stations. The point of attack is the Agge/Odimodi axisâ€, he stated.
â€œShell should take a cue from Chevron and vacate the Niger- Delta region to avoid collateral damage to their investment and death to staff. We do not intend to waste time taking hostages. Hurricanes are no respecters on anyoneâ€, the militant group warned
Gbomo had in an exclusive online interview with Vanguard 24 hours earlier said MEND had downgraded its orchestrated war, â€œHurricane Piper Alphaâ€ to a tropical storm and shed light on why Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) was the target of attack in the first few days of fresh offensive.
His words,Â Â â€œChevron happens to find itself at the wrong place at the wrong time.. They are right in the middle of a conflict zone where the Joint Task Force (JTF) on the Niger-Delta is claiming to be in control and the only way we can show the world that they are not is by destroying the very facilities they are supposed to be guardingâ€.
â€œSecondly, Chevron never offered to help the displaced people by way of relief or medical assistance. In fact they have pretended not to be aware of what is going on. Imagine here is a company that pretends to feel for the communities and turned a blind eye to the atrocities as long as oil flowed. They are being taught a lesson for being indifferent to the plight of human beings under whose land they are drilling oil and gas.
â€œOur mission is to ground the entire operation of Chevron so we can eventually negotiate from a vantage position over the true federalism matter. Our enemy must not have petro dollars to buy bombs to kill us when we are negotiatingâ€, he asserted.
He said, â€œThe last has not been heard from Piper Alpha, right now, the hurricane has been downgraded to a tropical storm. During such a period, there will be a routine sabotage of already damaged pipes, logistics for future operation, planning both for the media and military, etcâ€.