The Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND says it will extend its bombing campaigns beyond the creeks of the region to other parts of the country if the Federal Government “accedes to the military’s request to raid militant camps” in the Niger Delta.
The group said in a statement, signed by Jomo Gbomo and posted on the internet that its first target would be the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, stating that it had the expertise to detonate car bombs and other structures considered impossible to destroy.
“The JTF or military has claimed victory in the on-going operations in Port Harcourt and other areas but it is not victory against the emancipators but victory against those criminals that have hijacked the operations of the freedom fighters.
Our field operatives who carry out car bombings, commandos and fighters are on stand by.
We are waiting for the signals from government that will either cause us to strike or stand down.
We are aware that for the government to declare victory, the military must secure every meter of oil pipeline, major bridges and oil facility and employee, which is impossible.
It will take an hour to destroy a facility that took years to put up.
Nothing can really stop us and we are saying that no force in the country can stop the fighting machine or the spirit of the people.
It is a war of emancipation and not for self-aggrandizement, we know those who are against us.
The JTF has become the occupational force in the Niger Delta while the SSS is the Gestapo similar to what happened during the Second World War.
These soldiers and secret police are involved in extra- judicial killings, molest, theft, harassment of innocent civilians and now its off-duty personnel connive with criminal gangs to commit kidnapping for ransom.
We wish to state that the attempt to raid our camps will not succeed because in the first place we do not have a fixed base so they will only meet extinguished campfires that show that a camp once existed there.
As a guerrilla fighting force, we are mobile to move from place to place.
We have a stockpile of recently delivered heavy weapons to counter any air or amphibious attack the Nigerian military forces are also acquiring weapons, so the match is even.
Better still, we have the expertise to detonate car bombs that can divide the Lagos third mainland bridge into two.
The most important is the hearts and minds of our fighters who are all volunteers.
They are fighting for what they believe in and not for a salary.
They are fearless and that is our greatest asset”.