People of the Niger Delta and indeed, all Nigerians, have been advised not to panic following renewed threats by the Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) to start avenging the killing of Christians in Northern Nigeria by members of the Islamic group, Boko Haram, saying MEND as a group no longer exists.
In a statement issued by its spokesman and media coordinator, Lt Col Onyema Nwachukwu, the JTF said those attempting to christen themselves as MEND are impostors.
The statement reads: “First, it must be made clear that the authentic MEND as we all know went into extinction since the emergence of the Niger Delta and the freedom fighters from the dark days of turbulence in the region and quite a good number of them are partnering with their various states and communities for development.
“Those attempting to christen themselves MEND today are impostors and a bundle of “never do wells” who want to be accorded undue recognition at the ex pence of the peace currently savoured in the Niger Delta. The lack of focus and genuineness of intention of this gang seeking to hide under the name of MEND is apparent in its statements.
“As it continues to contradict itself, you recall that it had earlier claimed to be acting under the directives of Henry Okah and now it refers to the same person as just one of the respected leaders of the Niger Delta.
“Now they are seeking sympathy and acceptance of the public by claiming to want to avenge Christians. Niger Deltans should be not deceived by the tricks of the devil.
“Lawlessness is never a solution. Obviously their aim is to engender panic and a sense of insecurity in the region using MEND’s name, but we assure them that their cup is full and will soon be caught up with by the law.
“We urge all community leaders, opinion leaders and all peace loving Niger Deltans not to panic but rather firmly dissociate themselves from these criminals and to collaborate with the JTF and other security agencies in ensuring that we rid our society of them.”
The statement also debunked a claim by the MEND that it blew up a well head saying its troops on patrol along Nembe Creek 1 Flow Station earlier detected and reported an oil spill on water resulting from activities of oil thieves.
It added that the well has since been shut down to avoid further spill pending repairs.