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MEND Fighters Destroy Shell Facility In Dawn Raid

Posted by By Okafor Ofiebor/ Port Harcourt on 2008/09/15 | Views: 1856 |

MEND Fighters Destroy Shell Facility In Dawn Raid


Less than 12 hours after militants kidnapped Professor Barinenme Fakae, the Vice Chancellor of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, RSUST, at about 7 p.m., last night, in Ogoni, while returning to Port Harcourt, militants, in 10 speedboats, attacked Shell flow station at Alakiri, at about 1235 a.m., today, in an operation” Hurricane Barbarossa”, September 15, 2008.

Less than 12 hours after militants kidnapped Professor Barinenme Fakae, the Vice Chancellor of the Rivers State University of Science and Technology, RSUST, at about 7 p.m., last night, in Ogoni, while returning to Port Harcourt, militants, in 10 speedboats, attacked Shell flow station at Alakiri, at about 1235 a.m., today, in an operation” Hurricane Barbarossa”, September 15, 2008.

According to MEND, in statement posted online to PMNews, in Port Harcourt, the attack is part of its “continued destructive sweep through Rivers state of Nigeria.”

The group added: “the eye of the storm struck a direct hit at the expansive Alakiri flow station complex operated by the Shell Petroleum Development Company.The facility was still burning when we left.”


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However, Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, the spokesman of the Joint Military Taskforce, JTF, spoke on the early morning attack, confirming that the attack lasted for about an hour.

He said the militants carried out the operation with the massive use of bombs, dynamites and other weapons of war. Lt. Sagir Musa said that the attack was repelled and the militants suffered heavy casualties. He, however, feared that the flowstation must have caught fire “as a result of the crossfire during the encounter.”

He claimed that there was no casualty on the side of the JTF. Because of the trecherous terrain and the difficulty in getting authentic information as to the true casualties in the battle between the militants and the JTF, there has been a propaganda war. About atwo weeks ago, the militants claimed that they killed 26 soldiers, but the army headquarters said it was a lie and that none of its bases was attacked.

It’s really difficult to get independent confirmation in terms of casualties as usually claimed. But Jomo Gbomo, the spokesman for MEND, claimed that “heavily armed fighters from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta stormed the facility and have razed it to the ground as promised. The foolhardy workers and soldiers who did not heed our warning perished inside the station.

“Resistance was nonexistent as the soldiers fled their dug-in positions, leaving behind their colleagues and the workers inside the facility to their fate.”

The MEND spokesman further cautioned those in the oil industry to steer clear of all oil facilities in the region because of the”Oil War” it has declared against the Federal Government for allowing its troops to bomb its base at Elem-Tombia, in Degema Local Government area on Saturday, 13 September.

The camp is owned by a popular militia leader known as FARAH. MEND further warned that “A word is enough for the wise. MEND reiterates its previous warnings to ALL oil workers in the entire Niger Delta region to evacuate from oil facilities and halt production with immediate effect or they will have themselves to blame.”

The militant group called on “the wives of soldiers to convince their husbands to abandon this duty of injustice to avoid becoming widows. Families of oil workers should offer the same advice. International vessels should not come in to load crude oil. Owners of such vessels should be warned that the vessels will suffer the same fate of the Alakiri flow station. Hostages will not be taken. Do not be deceived. The Nigerian military cannot protect you.”

Earlier at the weekend, against the backdrop of military bombardment of Elem-Tombia, the camp of a gang leader, George Farah, at about 9a.m., Saturday, that led to unconfirmed casualties, the group said it has declared all out oil war tagged “Hurricane Barbarossa” in the region.

The group’s spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, in an e-mail to PMNews in Port Harcourt, said that the operation was in solidarity with its camp that that was bombarded by the Joint Task Force.

According to the online statement, “Following a previous warning that any attack on our positions will be tantamount to a declaration of an oil war, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has declared an oil war in response to the unprovoked aerial and marine attacks on a MEND position in Rivers state of Nigeria on September 13, 2008 by the armed forces of Nigeria.

“About 0100 Hrs, today, September 14, 2008, Hurricane Barbarossa commenced with heavily armed fighters in hundreds of war boats filing out from different MEND bases across the Niger Delta in solidarity to carry out destructive and deadly attacks on the oil industry in Rivers state. The group furher claimed that “By dawn, destroyed oil flow stations, gun boats, burst pipelines, dead and injured soldiers trailed in the aftermath of the ‘hurricane’.

“Some specific locations include the Soku Gas Plant, Chevron Platform at Kula, over 22 well armed soldiers sent as reinforcement were intercepted, killed and dispossessed of their weapons, a major crude trunk pipeline at Nembe creek was blown up at several points.”

MEND vowed that “The operation will continue until the government of Nigeria appreciates that the solution to peace in the Niger Delta is justice, respect and dialogue. This military-style bullying belongs to the past 50 years when the Niger Delta people responded only with their mouths, pens and placards.” MEND further stated: “All international oil and gas loading vessels entering the region are warned to drop anchor in the high sea or divert elsewhere until further notice. Failure to comply is taking a foolhardy risk of attack and destruction of the vessel. Again, we are asking that oil companies evacuate their staff from their field facilities because the brief is not to capture hostages but to bring these structures to the ground.”

Lt. Col. Sagir Musa, the spokesman for JTF, told a local radio station in Port Harcourt that it repelled an attempt by militants to attack the American oil giant, Chevron facility, in the Okrika area of Rivers State.

Meanwhile, Mr Blessing Wikina, the Acting Chief Press Secretary to Governor Chibuike Amaechi, has condemned the kidnap of Prof. Fakae last night and called for his unconditional release. Mr. Wikina told P.M.News in a telephone interview this morning that “the kidnap of an erudite Professor like the RSUST VC is a disservice to humanity and certainly not part Niger Delta struggle.”

He lamented that “for a VC who has been involved in human capacity building for our youths to face the challenges of tomorrow cannot have his freedom curtailed by the same youths he has been laboring for all his life as a university teacher from the University of Nigeria, Nsukka as a lecturer, Bori Polytechnic as a Provost and until recently, the VC of RSUST appointed by Governor Amaehi to change the fortunes of the instution.” No group has claimed responsibility for the kidnap.

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.