Extra precautions taken by the Nigerian security agencies may have scuttled plans by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) to carry out planned deadly attacks in the oil region Thursday, to coincide with the observance of 29 May as ‘Democracy Day’.
“You know that we are not zombies like soldiers who will follow an order even after finding out the scenario has changed,” MEND Spokesman Jomo Gbomo wrote in an email message on Sunday, in response to an email inquiry over the attacks.
“Because of our flexibility. we fell back to plan B which was intel (intelligence) gathering and that was a success in preparation for the next line of attack,” he said.
In a statement emailed to journalists Wednesday, MEND had vowed to carry out ”a string of deadly attacks and car bombings on Thursday, May 29, 2008 in some Niger Delta states”
”This fore-warning is to ensure that civilians avoid milling around oil pipelines and installations or close to military check points and vehicles to minimize civilian loss of life,” it said in the statement.
Observers said the warning probably gingered the Joint Military Task Force, deployed to protect the region into action, thereby making it impossible for the militants to act.
The force had earlier dismissed the threat.
Attacks by militants have slashed Nigeria’s oil production and helped push up global oil prices. Panapress .