28 October 2013, Warri – Joint military Task Force (JTF) Operation Pulo Shield and the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) have been trading words over who was responsible for last week’s killing of two soldiers in Rivers State and the bombing of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) refinery in Warri, Delta State.
MEND had on Saturday in a statement claimed responsibility for last week’s killing of two soldiers and the explosion at the refinery, saying it was part of its ongoing operation ‘Hurricane Exodus’ which it launched against the alleged fraud in the amnesty programme being implemented by the federal government.
The group in a statement signed by its spokesman, Gbomo Jomo, thumb its chest to say that last week had not only been eventful but it had been successful in the series of operations it carried out against the economic enters of the nation.
“The week (sic) under review (October 20 to 26, 2013) was very eventful. Several well-heads, feeder pipe lines were damaged by ‘Hurricane Exodus’ in Bayelsa, Rivers and Delta States of Nigeria. The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), which we earlier infiltrated with the full recruitment of a high level agent resulted in the successful sabotage from within on October 22, 2013. Throwing a ‘spanner in the works’ does not require rocket science or commando skills to execute. It only takes a belief in our cause to make things happen.”
But the JTF in a statement called MEND cowards and liars, who wanted to claim responsibility for every action, saying such an action was a reflection of the grandiose illusion of drowning gangsters.
The JTF statement, which was signed by its Media Coordinator, Lt. Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, reads: “It is no longer news that their insatiable and desperate desire to conjure up a seeming apocalypse in order to make the world see the Niger Delta as insecure has again failed, as they have continuously fed the public with lies of a grossly failed ‘Hurricane Exodus.”
The NNPC Warri refinery fire incident which the NNPC have clearly stated was accidental and occurred when their engineers were working in the top unit of the refinery , is a crystal clear example of the false claims of these criminals.
“Our troops in the Andoni incident defended the civilians they escorted gallantly by ensuring their safety. How come the so called MEND did not claim responsibility before now as they would have usually done? It is simply because they had no knowledge of it until we made it public and ridiculously they have jumped at it for self glorification. This claim is therefore an afterthought. The Merchant vessel named Retriever hijacked off the coast by unknown pirates were not at all escorted.
“It is a Merchant vessel which had no escort and no JTF presence, how then could JTF have suffered casualty in that incident? Again this is a pointer to the falsehood spread by these miscreants to gain recognition at all cost. We have a pedigree that has not been faulted. Recall that the JTF had assured Nigerians that it will comb the creeks and bring to book the criminals (MEND) who killed the 11 policemen in Bayelsa State and we did it. We assured Nigerians that the notorious kidnapper, another self styled (MEND) Kelvin will be brought to justice and we smoked him out of the creeks. The sledge hammer will soon fall on these bunch of criminals.
“We urge the good and peace loving people of the Niger Delta to refuse to be cowed into violence and criminality by any group of egocentric persons. The JTF will tenaciously defend and protect all the peace loving people of the Niger Delta.”
Meanwhile, Security agencies in Bayelsa State are keeping mum over the whereabout of the two Americans kidnapped off the coast of the state by suspected Sea Pirates.
While all the agencies yesterday refused to speak on the whereabout of the men even as more military commandoes and police detectives were deployed into the creeks to fish out the kidnappers, the only report on the abduction of the two Americans came on Saturday from MEND.
MEND, which claimed that “in the early hours of Wednesday, October 23, 2013, an armed auxiliary outfit (referred by the authorities as pirates), attacked a US flagged oil supply vessel and singled out the two Americans on board. This action was also to show their disdain and content for an on-going Joint Naval Exercise with foreign Navies in the Delta Region. We have informed their abductors that Mr. Henry Okah, would have wanted the men released as soon as possible.”
The Naval Command Headquarters had on Thursday confirmed the attack on an oil vessel along the coast of Bayelsa State, where the two American sailors among the crew aboard the vessel were kidnapped.
The abducted crew, according to security report, was the Chief Engineer and the Captain of the Vessel. In a dispatch report, it was stated that a US-flagged, Edison Chouest-owned C-Retriever, was attacked in the early hours of Wednesday.”
– This Day