Oil companies namely Shell, Intel, NLNG, Agip, and ALSCON have been accused by the rebel groups in the Niger Delta of Nigeria, of backing and aiding the Nigerian military to carry out attacks on their camps in the region and so must expect the worse come February the 14th.
The Oil War in the Niger Delta has taken a new twist as Rebel leader Ateke Tom, gives Nigeria and other foreign oil operators in the region an ultimatum to evacuate the Niger Delta otherwise expect a Valentines Day Massacre. It is reported that the installations, facilities and staffs of the aforementioned oil companies would be targets of militant attacks come valentines day.
Last week, there were series of altercation between the military task force and the militants in the oil region and the factions of rebel groups have been pushed to the wall. The Niger Delta Vigilante (NDV) and the Patriotic Force (PF) led by militant leader Ateke Tom believe that the incessant attacks by the military is a demonstration of government’s unwillingness to address their plight and cry for justice and fairness through dialogue. Ateke Tom added that his militia men would henceforth, not fold their hands while its locations are persistently attacked by the military.
A statement released to journalists in Port-Harcourt by the spokes person of the Niger Delta patriotic Force NDPF, Mr. Tamunokuro Ebitari, reads: “It’s our belief that we’ll win this fight morally and otherwise. Let the wind of terror blow; let the sound of the guns echo across the seas, land and even beyond the Niger Delta The volcano has just erupted. We’ve named it operation zero exploration. We hereby give from this day till February 14, 2009, for all oil companies which include Shell, Intel, NLNG, Agip, and ALSCON to quit the Niger Delta in their own interest because operation zero exploration is targeted towards oil companies who use the JTF to intimidate our people.”
Nigerians, oil companies, observers and Nigerian government officials are at alert as they deliberate on the right decision to take.