The conviction of Henry Okah as the mastermind of October 1, 2010 bombing in Abuja sent a clear signal to people outside Nigeria that terrorism is not a monopoly of northern part of Nigeria, President of Civil Rights Congress of Nigeria Shehu Sani has said.
Okah was sentenced to life imprisonment by a South African High Court last week Monday for masterminding the October 1, 2010 Independence Day bombing.
Sani said yesterday the conviction, which confirmed that the bombing was carried out by the militants, had neutralised the misinformation that violence in Nigeria is a political agenda by the north against the southern Christian president.
"What is very clear is that the security challenge in Nigeria is a product of deep fitted animosity and a product of years of prolonged injustice and inequity that been entrenched in Nigeria by successive government. The coordination of violence in Niger-Delta is a confirmation that the amnesty programme is a sham and is simply buying peace and not ending the violence or solving the problem," Mr Sani said.
Reacting to the threat of bringing Nigeria down and dismantling the country as stated by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) in reaction to Okah’s conviction, Sani said the threat should not be taken lightly by the federal government since the group had always lived up to its threats.
He said Okah’s conviction will compound security challenge in Nigeria and urged President Goodluck Jonathan to apologize to Nigerians for his initial statement that the October 1, 2010 bombing was not carried out by Niger Delta.
Sani challenged President Jonathan for not addressing the socio-economic problems of the Niger-Delta, as he is only appeasing the Niger-Delta bourgeoisie and at the same time creating and enriching a new class of elites.