The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has said it is not responsible for the seizure of a supply vessel operated by the American oil giant Chevron in Nigeria’s restive Niger Delta region on Tuesday.
But it said in a statement e-mailed to journalists Wednesday night that it would not assist in the release of the 11 persons aboard the vessel, who were taken hostage.
“The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) is not responsible for the attack on the Chevron supply vessel. We are aware of those behind the attack and do not support their motive.
“However, we will not see ourselves working on the side of the government in aiding the release of the hostages,” MEND said.
According to military sources, two of the hostages are from Portugal and Ukraine, while the rest are Nigerians.
The ship was hijacked as it sailed from Onne Port in Rivers state to Escravos in Delta state, and was said to be ferrying supplies and other essential materials for the Escravos Platform when the suspected militants struck.
The hijackers want a ransom of 30 million naira (about US$257,000). Panapress .