The Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), on Monday claimed responsibility for the attack on a tugboat belonging to the Agip Nigerian Oil Company (NAOC).
MEND in a statement signed by its spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, also admitted that its fighters kidnapped the engineer and the captain of the boat.
Information Nigeria recalls that gunmen numbering seven had on Saturday attacked a tugboat belonging to Agip and whisked away an engineer and a captain of the vessel.
It also claimed that the attack was carried out by some of its trainee fighters along the Nembe-Bassanbiri waterways in Bayelsa State.
MEND said in the statement: “This relatively insignificant attack is a reminder of our presence in the creeks of the Niger Delta and a sign of things to come. Contrary to speculations, they were not ‘sea pirates’, but a new group of MEND ‘Trainee fighters.
“Our silence thus far, has been strategic and at the right time, we will reduce Nigerian oil production to zero by 2015 and drive off our land, all thieving oil companies.
“In this new phase of our struggle for justice, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) will pay considerable attention to dealing with the occupying Nigerian government forces in the Niger Delta that stand in our way”, the statement said.