Abuja, Nigeria (UPI) Oct 13, 2010
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has declared that the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta will no longer provide a safe haven for criminals.
Presidential spokesman Ima Niboro said, "The president just returned from Zamfara and Sokoto states. It was successful and incident-free, in spite of the bomb threats by MEND.
"But the threats bring to focus the president's position that no one must hide underneath MEND to perpetrate evil. This is even more so since the MEND known to Nigerians has willingly renounced violence. So which MEND was this? The Zamfara variant? This nonsense must stop and this is precisely the president's position," The Leadership newspaper reported Tuesday.
On Oct. 1, during Nigeria's celebrations commemorating 50 year of independence, two car bombs exploded in the capital Abuja, killing 12 people. Nine people were subsequently arrested, including Nigerian media mogul Raymond Dokpesi, who has filed a lawsuit against the secret police.
Dokpesi owns one of Nigeria's biggest television networks, Africa Independent Television and is overseeing the political campaign of former military ruler Gen. Ibrahim Babangida. Babangida is challenging Jonathan for the right to become Nigeria's governing party's presidential candidate.
MEND subsequently e-mailed a statement to reporters saying it regretted "the avoidable loss of lives."
Jonathan however denied MEND's involvement, saying instead that the attacks were mounted a small terrorist group from outside Nigeria that is being sponsored by "unpatriotic elements within the country," despite the fact that MEND had notified journalists about an hour before the blast that it had placed bombs near the site of independence day events.
Reputed MEND leader Henry Okah, one of nine arrested in the aftermath of the bombings is accusing Jonathan of trying to gain political advantage from the attacks, commenting that Jonathan wants to the attacks on northern Nigerian factions trying to derail his attempts to win a second term.
Okah, currently detained in South Africa, told Al-Jazeera during an interview that he was contacted by a high-level aide to Jonathan in the wake of the bombing to inform him that Jonathan wanted him to contact MEND officials and persuade them to retract their statement claiming responsibility for the attacks.
Further muddying the picture, former militant Victor Ebokawe, known also as General Boyloaf, stated that because Jonathan is from the region, he understands its problems and could use his local knowledge to advance a regional solution.
Factionalism is rife in Nigeria with 150 million population scattered over 350 tribes. MEND, was formed in 2006 to protest the central government's exploitation of the country's oil reserves. In the past four years MEND attacks have succeeded in reducing Nigeria's oil production by one-third, causing global oil prices to rise.
Share This Article With Planet Earth
Africa News - Resources, Health, Food
African leaders urged to tackle climate change at forum
Addis Ababa (AFP) Oct 13, 2010
African leaders came under pressure on Wednesday to take concrete actions against global warming at the African Development Forum in the Ethiopian capital, organisers said. "Ethiopia's President Girma Wolde-Giorgis has called on African leaders to 'close the gap between rhetoric and adaptation actions' in order to effectively address the impact of climate change across the continent," organi ... read more
Malnourished Pakistani flood children face winter peril|
Pakistan flood damage 9.7 billion dollars: World Bank, ADB
Tough tasks ahead after 33 miners' rescue
China web users slam nation's mine safety amid Chile rescue
Polymer Behaviors Below The 1 Nanometer Level
Examining How Materials Bond At The Atomic Level
TanDEM-X Leader Has A Connection With Antennas
Breakthrough Promises Bright Fast Displays At Low Power
US lifts Gulf of Mexico deepwater drilling ban
Australia Must Have Better Plan For A Variable Water Future
Alarming Increase In Flow Of Water Into Oceans
Asia facing worsening water crisis: ADB
Crew circles North Pole in one summer
Himalayan climate change action urged
Disappearing Glaciers Enhanced Biodiversity
Argentine Congress votes to restrict mining near glaciers
States rip apart EU bid to fix GM crops mess
U.N. hails eradication of a cattle disease
Uruguay, S. Arabia plan for food security
New Fish Feeds Made From Fish Byproducts
Cuba on storm alert as Hurricane Paula approaches
Man-made causes cited for Pakistan floods
Hot meals draw pupils back to Haiti's quake hit schools
Hurricane Paula heads for Mexican tourist coast
Niger's number two junta leader arrested: military
African leaders urged to tackle climate change at forum
Clooney seek diplomatic action in Sudan
Nigerian clamps down on MEND militants
'Missing link' fossil debated by science
Research Suggests Volcanoes Nixed Neanderthals
Study finds brain changes during sleep
Canadian helps severely disabled speak through music
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement|