Apparently angered by last Sunday’s threat by the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND, to commence bombing of mosques and killing of Muslim clerics as from May 31 to avenge the death of Christians killed by the Islamist sect, Boko Haram, and ensure Christians are defended against further attacks, northern youths yesterday, promised to make militants bite their fingers in regret should they carry out their plan.
The National President of the Arewa Youths Forum, Alhaji Ibrahim Gambo Gujungu in Abuja handed out the warning, adding that the threat by MEND would not in any way deter northerners and other Nigerians from fighting back should they attempt to make real their threat.
“The most recent threat by MEND is indeed unfortunate, callous and counter productive, especially coming at a time when patriotic Nigerians are making strident effort and sacrifices to resolve the current security challenge.
“MEND, as usual, is putting spanners in the works for unpatriotic selfish economic benefits. It is painful that these elements are threatening more violence despite the colossal amount being paid their leadership and the training of Niger Delta youths abroad by the Federal Government to the obvious disadvantage of other Nigerian youths outside the region.
“MEND and its members are hereby warned that they do not have monopoly of ideas, strength or ability. The youths of the north and other Nigerians are united and shall face them to truncate any of their threats which are aimed at separating Nigerians along religious or ethnic divides for their selfish economic goals.
“It is very sad and mind boggling to note that instead of supporting and ensuring that President Jonathan succeeds in finding a lasting solution to the present security challenge in the north, MEND has re-opened another insecurity theatre in the Niger Delta to cause distraction and make him fail.
“The obvious disrespect, which MEND shows to President Jonathan as not being among those they respect enough to intervene in the ongoing debacle, is food for thought, to say the least,” Gujungu noted.
Reacting to the matter, spokesperson of the defunct Niger-Delta Liberation Force, NDLF, ‘Captain’ Mark Anthony, said the planned action by MEND will be good.
“If MEND can carry out their threat, it will be a welcome development, the Christians Boko Haram roasted with bombs in hundreds are human beings. While we were in the creek, we made preparations to pay Boko Haram in their own coin, but Niger-Delta politicians pleaded with us never to carry out operations in the land.
“Now, my hands are tied as Federal Government has granted me amnesty and my group, NDLF, and I have sworn to an oath never to engage in violence. I am now a toothless bulldog and cannot bite,” he said.
Rev Usifo however opposed the plan by MEND to defend Christians, but said Christians should arm themselves.
“They should not burn mosques and kill Muslim clerics, I am not in support of that. But I want to say that Christians should arm themselves and also seek the services of security agencies to guard their churches. In a situation where people come to attack them and burn their churches, they should defend themselves,” Usifo said.
A prominent activist, Mr. Augustine Ogedengbe, also cautioned against retaliatory attacks by any group from the Niger-Delta. He said he would want MEND and any other group claiming to represent Niger-Delta to be mindful of the fact that Boko Haram was fashioned to frustrate the Federal Government, headed by a Niger-Deltan and carrying out reprisal action could precipitate more bloodbaths.