Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Delta Militants Denounce Obasanjo's Plan for Oil Region, Threaten More Attacks

Militants targeting oil installations in Nigeria's southern Niger Delta on Wednesday denounced plans unfolded by President Olusegun Obasanjo to redress grievances in the impoverished region, vowing instead more attacks to increase local control of oil wealth.

Like I earlier reported President Obasanjo met with moderate Niger Delta leaders in the Nigerian capital Abuja on Tuesday and unfolded a plan to create 20,000 jobs in the region and invest in roads, education and health for its people. While hard line Niger Delta leaders boycotted the meeting, MEND dismissed Obasanjo's offer of "menial jobs".

Hear Them: "For 50 years the wealth of our people has been looted by the Nigerian government and it believes this injustice can be remedied by providing menial jobs to indigenes of the Niger Delta," MEND said in a statement emailed to reporters.

"What we have demanded is the control of our resources which the Nigerian government has so far ignored," it added.

"Our halt in attacks was more of a tactical suspension which has come to its end," it said. "At a time of our choosing we will resume our attacks with greater devastation and no compassion on those who choose to disregard our warnings." MEND claims to be fighting for the interests of the impoverished inhabitants of the Niger Delta, who live with no electricity or running water and feel cheated out of the oil wealth by Western oil companies and the government of Nigeria, the world's eighth largest crude producer.

Shebi I talk am

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