From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has vowed to continue its systematic attacks on the nation’s oil industry.
In a statement issued via e-mail by its spokeperson, Jomo Gbomo, in which it claimed responsibility for the recent fire incident at the NNPC pipeline jetties at Okirika, Rivers state, MEND said the attack was carried out to protest the inaction of President Goodluck Jonathan over the Niger Delta Amnesty programme.
Gbomo while claiming that the facility was infiltrated by some of its fighters, dismissed the official position that the damage was caused by vandals and oil thieves.
The statement read in part: The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) takes responsibility for the sabotage on Sunday, 18 May, 2014 , on the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Refinery Jetty pipelines in Okrika, Rivers State of Nigeria . This attack is line with our on-going operation ‘Hurricane Exodus’, which was intended to bring down the entire refining facility. “ This facility was infiltrated by a few of our fighters with the aid of our internal agents within the NNPC contrary to speculations that the sabotage was carried out by ‘pipeline vandals and oil thieves’, which is a very convenient phrase used in shielding the truth from the public.
“Thorough investigations will reveal bomb fragments are the same used in the Warri Refinery explosion of Tuesday, 22 October, 2013.”
The militant group stated that it would persist with its attacks on the Nigerian oil industry due to the alleged inaction of President Goodluck Jonathan, “ who continues to rely on an unsustainable and fraudulent Niger Delta Amnesty programme.” MEND insisted that “the entire Amnesty process is a fraud on the people of Nigeria who are being promised peace in the Niger Delta, in the absence of justice”