By Emma Amaize
WARRI- MOVEMENT for Emancipation of the Niger-Delta (MEND) at about 10.00 pm on Tuesday attacked the Otunana flow station, operated by the Chevron Nigeria Limited in Delta State in fulfilment of its promise to launch operation â€œHurricane Piper Alphaâ€ after its 72-hour ultimatum on oil companies to quit the region expired on Monday.
A community source told Vanguard at about 5.00 am, yesterday, â€œOur communities are on fire, they have blown up Chevron facility in our area this nightâ€.
According to him, â€œThe communities are Teidegbene, Igousuwogbene and Ugehgbene. The heat from the fire is heavily on us and some people are packing bag and baggage as I am speaking to you nowâ€.
MENDâ€™s spokesman, Jomo Gbomo in an online statement said, â€œAs forewarned, a major “Cordon and Search” operation by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) commenced today, Tuesday, June 9, 2009 at about 2200 hours with devastating effects on the heavily fortified Chevron Otunana flow station in Delta state, which is currently engulfed in fire after being overwhelmed by our fightersâ€.
â€œCode named â€˜Hurricane Piper Alphaâ€™, the objective is to smoke out war criminals of the Northern Nigerian armed forces, who have taken refuge in oil installations and give them instant jungle justiceâ€, he said.
â€œThese state- sponsored terrorists are responsible for the killings, rapes, indiscriminate bombings and wanton destruction of property belonging to innocent civilians in impoverished oil bearing communities whose resources continue to sustain the entire Nigerian economy to their own detriment.
â€œWe have adopted the same scorched earth policy of the military, which was approved by the Nigerian Presidency and endorsed by the National Assembly on any oil and gas company that allows its flow stations, rigs, pipelines or super tankers to be used as a safe havenâ€, the group asserted.
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