By Emma Amaize
LAGOSÂ -Â MOVEMENT for the Emancipation of the Niger-Delta (MEND) yesterday switched its ongoing offensive, codenamed Hurricane Moses outside the Niger-Delta region, setting ablaze the Atlas Cove Jetty in Lagos state.
The groupâ€™s spokesman, Jomo Gbomo who confirmed the unparalleled attack in an online statement on Sunday said, â€œThe depot and loading tankers moored at the facility are currently on fireâ€.
MEND hailed the United States of America President, Barrack Obama for choosing Ghana above Nigeria as his place of visit in Africa and tried to clear the controversy among the militants over the constitution of a negotiating team.
He stated, â€œA boardroom or creek battle of epic proportion, which will either emancipate the Niger Delta from over 50 years of tyranny or subject her to perpetual slavery was flagged off tonight by Hurricane Moses with a plague of warning attacksâ€.
â€œLed by a pillar of fire, heavily armed MEND fighters today, Sunday, July 12, 2009 at about 2230 hours (9.30 pm) carried out an unprecedented attack on the Atlas Cove Jetty in Lagos state. The depot and loading tankers moored at the facility are currently on fire.
â€œThe two-pronged approach of combining dialogue and intensifying attacks throughout the course of negotiations will be the unique characteristics of Moses.
â€œThe mother of all plagues will be used as a last resort if the Nigerian Pharaohs show stubbornness over reasoning just as Moses did with the plague on the firstborn in ancient Egypt and the Americans with the plague of the atomic bomb in Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
â€œWe sincerely hope for the sake of avoiding a total calamity that Egypt will not harden its heart and the exodus of our people to the Promised Land can commence as soon as possibleâ€, he said.
On the controversy among militants over their planned negotiating team, he maintained, â€œThe Aaron team that will be put together after due consultations with stake holders from around the globe, militant commanders and Henry Okah, will present the time framed demands of the Niger Delta region to the President through the Timi Alaibe led Federal Government of Nigeria Delegationâ€.
â€œMEND will as usual update the public on the progress being made as well as plagues being deliveredâ€, he added.
Obama took the right decision on Ghana
On Obamaâ€™s visit to Ghana, he said,Â â€œThe Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) salutes our brother, Barack Obama for choosing Ghana over failed states such as Nigeria, Angola or Equatorial Guinea for his maiden official visit to sub-Saharan Africaâ€.
â€œThis is a cheering message for ordinary Africans who will no longer have to tolerate watching the painful images on television of their corrupt leaders being warmly embraced by US Presidents.
â€œIf it were possible to delete images from our memory, many people will not hesitate to do away with the mismatched images of Reagan/Mobutu or Clinton/Obasanjo.
â€œPresident Obama’s candour has energized our movement and renewed our conviction in the ultimate triumph of justice. Because our fight for justice is happeningÂ in the type of country with a fraudulent electoral process, corrupt leadership and brutal military he described to parliament in Accra, we feel vindicatedâ€, he stated.
Militants, not Nigeriaâ€™s biggest headache
According to him, â€œThe problems facing our dear country Nigeria has nothing to do with militant freedom fighters but with the corrupt political leadership and certain arrogant tribes still living on past glory.
â€œWe want to assure our people and well wishers that we will not sell our birthright for a bowl of porridge because we are not committed to anyone but the peopleÂ of the Niger Deltaâ€, he asserted.