Your Ad Here

Welcome To The New TRENDS

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MEND Threatens To Attack Fuel Depots

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) on Tuesday threatened attacks on the fuel industry, telling residents to move away from storage depots and saying it would also target vehicles transporting petroleum products.

The military urged companies involved in Nigeria's downstream oil sector -- which includes refiners and fuel distribution firms -- to increase surveillance of their infrastructure and fleets following the threat.

The militant group warned in a statement emailed to news organisations of a "ferocious attack" in response to "the handling of the arrest and detention of our respected brothers".

The group's suspected mastermind, Henry Okah, is being held in South Africa while Okah's brother Charles and three others face terrorism and treason charges at home in connection with car bomb attacks in the capital Abuja last October.

"Advance warning for immediate evacuation is hereby issued to residents in close proximity to depots storing petroleum products such as aviation fuel, diesel, kerosene, petrol, propane gas and engine oil," the MEND statement said.

"Anyone who chooses to ignore this warning does so at their own peril," it said.

With its state-owned oil refineries in disrepair, Nigeria relies heavily on imported fuel for its energy needs and a campaign of attacks on fuel depots could undermine government efforts to end fuel shortages and create popular resentment.

There has already been violence in some parts of Nigeria ahead of a presidential election on April 9 and attacks by Niger Delta militants could be an embarrassment for President Goodluck Jonathan, the first head of state from the region.

His supporters believe some of the unrest has been deliberately orchestrated to discredit him.

Coiled out of 234NEXT.