June 15, 2009

MEND’s threat: JTF beefs up security round oil facilities in Bayelsa

By Samuel Oyadongha
Yenagoa—Security is being beefed up around oil facilities in the creek of Bayelsa following the threat from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) to attack the nation’s economic interest in the state.

A Joint Task Force operative, who spoke anonymously, said the security outfit was not taking chances, stressing that it would not allow some miscreants masquerading as freedom fighters to hold the nation to ransom.

The source disclosed that heavy equipment were being deployed to the creek to further strengthen the military formations in the creeks, adding that it would amount to grave danger for the militants to dare the might of the nation’s security forces.

The situation is causing tension among residents of the settlements, especially communities around the Bayelsa West senatorial district and Southern Ijaw flank with many of the natives relocating from their homes.

MEND had, in an online mail, threatened that its Hurricane Piper Alpha which is currently wreaking havoc on the nation’s oil interest in neighbouring Delta State would later extend to Bayelsa and other states in the troubled Niger Delta.

According to MEND, “after destroying the entire oil infrastructure in Delta State, the hurricane will move into the neighboring states of Bayelsa and Rivers before passing through the remaining states of Ondo, Edo , and Akwa Ibom and then finally head off-shore.”

The group warned Niger Deltans residing in the northern part of the country to return,  saying “our advice to all Niger Deltan’s residing in Northern Nigeria, including Abuja are to return home within the next eight weeks because a major event will occur in that part of the country and reprisal attacks directed at them could not be ruled out.

The same applies to the Northerners residing in the Niger Delta axis.
“In spite of having to watch our resources used to develop other regions to our detriment, our civilian communities destroyed, we now witness a brazen absence of federal character in all the key positions in this administration which has been selfishly taken up by the North.

“We hope that by the time the oil and gas exports come to zero, Nigeria will maintain those positions from the export of groundnut oil.

“We will want to use this opportunity to advise FIFA to have a re-think about Nigeria hosting the under-17 world cup tournament at this time, as the safety of international players and visitors can not be guaranteed due to the current unrest.”