12 February 2012
•Fear grips Niger Delta communities
Like the Abiku in Yoruba mythology, militancy has resurrected in the Niger Delta, less than three years after a presidential amnesty for former armed combatants in the region. No fewer than 26,358 ex-militants had been disarmed in two phases, since August 2009, and are currently undergoing reintegration under a Presidential Amnesty Programme.
But, while the programme cannot be said to have failed, so-called militants under the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) last weekend repudiated the amnesty and attacked a crude oil trunk line operated by Italian oil giants, Agip, in
. Bayelsa State
The group also confirmed that it was responsible for last month’s bombing of the country home of the Minister of Niger Delta, Elder Godsday Orubebe, in
. Delta State
MEND’s spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo, in an electronic mail response to Sunday Sun enquiry said the group was ready for an “all-out war” against oil multinationals as well as Niger Delta leaders “that have betrayed the region,” especially political office holders.
It refused to state reasons for going back to the trenches just as it said it was not ready for dialogue with the Nigerian government.