The Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) on Saturday claimed responsibility for an attack on two oil tankers conveying petroleum products and belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, in Abaji area of Abuja.
In a terse statement, the purported spokesman of MEND, Jomo Gbomo said its field operatives stealthily attached portable military limpet explosives to the articulated tanker vehicles in a queue outside a depot of the NNPC.
He said this segment of attack, code-named “Operation Touch And Go”, was carried out partly to demand for the resignation of Minister of Petroleum, Mrs Diezani Alison-Madueke, among others.
“The devices were timed to detonate simultaneously several seconds later, of which the outcome was predictable,” he said, adding the “Operation Touch And Go” is mainly targeted at the downstream sector of the oil industry in Nigeria.
“From today (Saturday), every tanker vehicle we find distributing petroleum products including propane gas has become a legitimate target in our war against injustice, corruption, despotism and oppression,” Gbomo threatened.
He further warned drivers of such tanker vehicles that they continue to drive them at their own risk just as he advised the public to maintain a safe distance from such vehicles as they can explode anytime and anywhere.
He added the harassment on oil tanker vehicles would be sustained until the Federal Government make provisions for their demands including the unconditional release of MEND’s alleged leader, Mr Henry Okah, who was tried and convicted in South Africa on terrorism charges.
A top official of the NNPC, when reached for comments confirmed the attack on two of its vehicles at a depot in Abuja, but said investigation was ongoing.
The official who craved for anonymity, said an official response will be made available to the press after a thorough investigation.