Posted by Emma Amaize, Simon Ebegbulem, Samuel Oyadongha & Jimitota Onoyume on
THE Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), is inviting all the Ijaw leaders who attended last Wednesday’s stakeholders’ conference convened by President Olusegun Obasanjo to explain why they flouted the directive of the Ijaw leadership not to attend the meeting.
WARRI — THE Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), is inviting all the Ijaw leaders who attended last Wednesday’s stakeholders’ conference convened by President Olusegun Obasanjo to explain why they flouted the directive of the Ijaw leadership not to attend the meeting. Vanguard learnt that the decision to invite the Ijaw leaders, who participated in the meeting was taken, yesterday, at a meeting by the militants.
This came on a day the Martyrs Brigade, said it has begun mobilisation in the creeks ahead of declaring what it called one rocket for platform against oil companies in the Niger Delta.
A source close to MEND speaking on the meeting said: “MEND is not happy that some people, who claimed to be representing the interest of the Ijaw people attended the Abuja jamboree when the national leader of the Ijaw nation, Chief Edwin Clark, the National President of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), Prof. Kimse Okoko presided over a meeting where the decision to boycott the meeting was reached.”
The source did not disclose the date of the meeting but said that “all those who attended the meeting know themselves and it is in their own interest to respond to the order or they will face the consequences,” adding: “The MEND appointed some Ijaw persons as negotiators and it is on that platform that some of them felt important enough to go to Abuja but who were they representing? Did we send them to attend the meeting?
“The purpose of the meeting is for them to tell who asked them to go to that meeting because there was a clear message from the Ijaw National Leader that the Ijaw would not attend the meeting,” the source added.
Contacted yesterday, the Chairman of the Ijaw Monitoring Group (IMG), Mr. Joseph Evah said: “Yes, I am aware of the information that those who attended the Abuja parley purportedly on behalf of the Ijaw people have been invited, I will not like to say summoned, to explain why they attended the meeting.”
“I think that it is very necessary that they come and explain why, because the Ijaw nation decided not to attend but some of these people disobeyed the order.
“What happened in Abuja was an insult to us. Look at President Olusegun Obasanjo, who has done nothing for the Ijaw in the past seven years now coming to head a council on the socio-economic development of the coastal states. Where was he all these years? Has he not been making the same promises and leaving the East -West Road like that?”
Vanguard gathered that the militants might take very strong actions against those who attended the meeting and that has raised another fear in the area.
But they want to do it methodically by giving the people an opportunity to defend themselves before moving against them. Some of those who attended the Abuja parley were, however, said to have mounted a lobby to forestall any harm against them by the militants.
... move against oil platforms
Meanwhile, the Martyrs Brigade, said yesterday it had begun mobilisation in the creeks in readiness for the declaration of operation one rocket for a platform against the trans-national oil corporation in the delta.
In a statement, the group singled out the American oil giant, Exxon Mobil for attack over what it described as its crime against Niger Delta communities caused by a catastrophic crude oil spillage of 1997 which left the entire communities along the Atlantic coast line impacted.
In a statement entitled: “We Are Returning to the ‘Creeks’, the group said in line with the greater objectives of the Ijaw and Niger Delta struggle, and in total agreement with other nationalist and freedom fighting groups in the Niger Delta, I, Cynthia Whyte, hereby announce that we have begun full re-mobilisation of nationalist troops into the creeks in readiness for the long proclaimed ‘New Onslaught’ against all agents and imperialist collaborators of the Nigerian State.”
“Of immediate urgency is the need to punish Exxon Mobil for its crime against Niger Delta communities caused by a catastrophic crude oil spillage of 1997.
“Most unforgivable is Exxon Mobil’s blatant disregard of a letter in this regard that was sent to Exxon Mobil’s top management and personally signed by our patriotic and esteemed, leader Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari sometime in September/October 2005.
“This letter was posted to top management of Exxon Mobil and up until now, the company has remained despicably ignorant. We will remind them that this is the Niger Delta and even though they milk us of all our billions in produced oil, we will not hold on to our veil of do-nothing anymore.
“Exxon Mobil has chosen to spite the collective will of our people and challenge the efficacy and potency of our venom. To this end, the object of our current challenge, Exxon Mobil, will be given in good measure, a taste of traditional but strategic militancy.”
It therefore warned all Niger Deltans, who provide job and related work services for Exxon Mobil in all its off-shore locations to stay off all these locations till further notice, noting “we will have neither the time nor the patience to pursue identification and separation processes. We will be quick, decisive and hard hitting. In furtherance to this campaign, we hereby declare Operation ‘One-rocket for One Platform.’"
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