Following the sentence of Henry Okah to 24 years imprisonment by a South African court, the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta on Wednesday announced that it would on Friday resume hostilities in the country.
MEND’s spokesman, Gbomo Jomo, in an e-mail sent to journalists said a series of attacks, codenamed ‘Hurricane Exodus’, would begin at midnight on Friday (tomorrow).
It said the attacks would be “a direct repercussion of a forged threat letter contrived by the Nigerian and South African governments purporting to have originated from MEND”.
Security agencies on Wednesday however said they were prepared to checkmate the militant group.
Speaking about the security operatives’ readiness to contain the threat, Director of Information at the Defence Headquarters, Brig Gen. Chris Olukolade, warned those behind the threat to avoid any action that could endanger the peace in the area, adding that the DHQ had its operatives on the ground and are prepared at all times to defend the interest of the country.
“The DHQ has our outfit on the ground in the Niger Delta. Our structures are on ground in the area. They should not reverse the hand of peace; nobody should threaten the peace in the area.
“The JTF is on the ground and is prepared to do their duties in defence of every interest of the nation. Anybody trying to threaten the peace in the area is advised against it.”
The police also promised to bring to book anyone that engaged in any act that contravened the law of the land just as the Deputy Force Public Relations Officer, Frank Mba said the police would not be drawn into responding to threats issued by criminal elements.
“The police will not respond to threats by criminal elements, but suffice it to say we are ready to curb any acts of lawlessness or criminality in the country,” he said.
The statement by the militant group read, “This fake letter was used as evidence against Henry Okah on whom a 13- year sentence was passed. To make matters worse, the prosecution’s second witness, Mr. Sele Victor-Ben, had exclaimed in court that the letter was not genuine after failing to catch the prosecutor’s eye who wanted him to lie under oath.
“We are now determined to conjure this imaginary trumped-up threat into a painful reality.
“The attacks will be sustained until an unreserved apology is offered to MEND and the Nigerian government shows its willingness to dialogue. The same way they are willing to dialogue with Boko Haram.”