Threat on Okowa: New MEND replies ‘jihadists’

A group under the aegis of the Movement for the Emancipation and Defence of the Niger Delta (MEND), has vowed to launch a reprisal attack if the faceless “Fulanis Jihadists” carries out its threat to unleash mayhem on Delta State.

Reacting to the threat in a widely circulated statement yesterday, the new MEND warned that it will unleash 10 times worse, any attack on the state by the alleged Fulani group.

The Nation had reported that yet-to-be-identified Fulani group, which claimed responsibility for the fire outbreak at the Federal Secretariat Complex, Asaba, had, on Sunday, threatened to attack the state capital and Agbor, if Governor Ifeanyi Okowa fails to withdraw his support for the ban on open grazing within 72 hours.

The police had swiftly countered the statement. They urged residents across the state to go about their lawful duties.

Responding to the unsigned letter, MEND said: “The attention of ‘The Movement for the Emancipation and the Defence of the Niger Delta has been brought to the threat of some Fulani terrorists who have given a three-day warning to the Governor of Delta State because of his support for the ban on open grazing across the Southern states.

“We also saw your taking responsibility for an explosion at the Secretariat in Asaba.

“We are warning that if your threat is made to come to fulfilment, no Fulani will ever exist across the Niger Delta and all oil facilities linked to a Fulani will be brought down. If one soul is lost, 10 Fulani souls will pay for it. If one facility is destroyed, 10 Fulani facilities will be destroyed.

“We will respond proportionately 10 times whatever you give, the corresponding response will not be limited to the Delta. It may be with your politicians or with your rulers.

“We will launch three rocket launchers and ballistic missiles at any facility of our choice as a warning in seven days if you make bold your threats.

“We don’t make cheap our threats. We have shut down the country and we can, at any time, shut you down. We are the Niger Delta. We stand for the interest of the Niger Delta and we will not allow any coward to threaten us. We fight without running.”

In a related development, Ndigbo in Delta State has said the threat on Okowa and Asaba can cause anarchy.

The Igbo community in Delta State, therefore, warned that the threat by unidentified Jihadists’ to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa over his stance on the open grazing ban may lead to anarchy.

The Eze Ndigbo of Delta Central and Southern Districts, Sir Peter Chukwu, disclosed this to reporters at the Olu of Warri Palace yesterday shortly after paying a condolence visit to the kingdom over the passing of His Majesty Ogiame Ikenwoli.

Assuring of their unwavering support for the Southern governors’ position on the ban on open grazing, he called on the ‘Fulani Jihadists’ to retrace their steps and allow peace to reign.

Positing that “all the Southern governors did as related to the ban on open grazing were constitutional,” he further advised whoever felt irked to “approach the court of law and seek redress rather than engaging in self-help or anarchy.”

The Eze Ndigbo also appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to be more statesman in his utterances in the face of the raging insecurity in Nigeria in order “not to aggravate tension” in the country.

“The time we are in calls for open reflection, peace and dialogue rather than beating war drums” the Eze Chukwu said.

While condoling with the Itsekiri Nation, he described the immediate past Olu of Warri as a peace-loving royal father who fostered a good relationship with the various ethnic groups, including the Igbo in Delta State.

The Princes and Princesses from the Donokoromo Royal Family of the Isaba Kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area of the state, led by their President-General, Prince Emmanuel Sekoindi, paid a similar visit to the Warri Kingdom, calling for the sustenance of peace and security in the land.

Receiving the visiting groups, the Regent of Warri Kingdom, Prince Emmanuel Okotie-Eboh expressed gratitude to them for their solidarity with the Itsekiri people at this painful period.

The regent enjoined them to keep up the good relationship as they prepare for the coronation of the Olu-designate on August 21.

culled from THE NATION