June 17, 2009

MEND’s extra-judicial killings video clips stage-managed —JTF

By Emma Amaize
WARRI—THE Joint Task Force (JTF) on the Niger-Delta says it has come to its knowledge that the Movement for Emancipation of the Niger-Delta (MEND) has embarked on yet another smear campaign of circulating constructed and acted video clips against the task force to depict extra-judicial killings by the security outfit.

In a statement yesterday, signed by its spokesman, Colonel Rabe Abubakar, the task force said: “It has come to the knowledge of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Operation Restore Hope, that MEND, due to its failure in the use of violence and previous attempts at denting our names which equally failed, has embarked on yet another smear campaign against the security outfit and its commanders by circulating constructed and acted video clips to depict rape and extra-judicial killings by the JTF in the Niger Delta.

“These concocted clips are now being forwarded to international figures for sympathy, while the media they were using hitherto, are no longer sympathetic to their cause due to the criminality and falsity of this faceless body.

“The JTF is constrained to, once again, alert the unsuspecting members of the public about this dimension in MEND’s propaganda and to discard them as lies.  We want to make it categorically clear that the JTF is composed of disciplined, professional officers and men trained and versed in the conduct of military operations in accordance with the tenet of all the international conventions to which Nigeria is a signatory.”

According to him, “ this could be substantiated by the participation by Nigerian Armed Forces in peace keeping and peace enforcement operations in Somalia, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Sudan and Yugoslavia, to mention a few, all of which its members earned commendations; therefore their so-called claims hold no waters.  They (MEND) are just a body of criminals that has run out of ideas.

“We further wish to advise the general public to be alert in this and similar smear campaigns against the JTF by the faceless MEND and its sponsors.  However, we are re-assuring the general public that the JTF will not relent on the ongoing efforts in restoring law and order within the Niger Delta,” he said.