As the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) appears to grow increasingly fragmented, a faction describing itself as being “under the leadership of Comrade Henry Okah” has disowned the spokesperson named Jomo Gbomo and the activities called “Hurricane Exodus” and “Operation Barbarossa.”
On April 14, MEND, in a statement signed by Jomo Gbomo, announced “Operation Barbarossa,” a crusade it said will begin on May 31 “to save Christianity in Nigeria from annihilation.” It said the campaign will comprise bombing of mosques, hajj camps, Islamic institutions, large congregations in Islamic events and assassinations of clerics.”
Gbomo also said that “Hurricane Exodus” would continue, saying it was responsible for the April 13 destruction of Oil Well 62, belonging to Shell Petroleum, in Ewellesuo community, Nembe, Bayelsa State. The police immediately denied that claim.
In today’s statement signed by “Comrade Timi Azizi,” MEND said that neither members of its high command nor loyal foot soldiers of “MEND-OKAH” are associated with the operations referred to by Jomo Gbomo.
“Our primary objectives at present are as follows (a) to secure the release of our leader (Comrade Henry Okah) and other members of our fraction in various detention centers in the country, Compensate families of our members killed by the security agencies, Withdraw all military personnel (JTF) and tanks in the region then hand over the control (total) of our resources back to us.
“As the spokesperson to Comrade Henry Okah, I wish to assure Niger Deltans and Nigerians at large that the operation Barbarossa is an imagination of the “old brigade” trying to gain relevancy hence we strongly advise this so called Jomo Gbomo to desist from this acts and stop using the name of Henry Okah as a reason(s) for their criminal activities or else we will fish them out and hand them over to the law enforcement agencies for prosecution,” the statement warned.
Turning to Mujaheed Asari Dokubo, the statement warned that Henry Okah owes him nothing and that he should be grateful for all Okah did for him. “Before you came in contact with him, you were a no-body, we are watching, mind your utterance as we might come for you someday for our pay cheque,” the statement said.
“For those saying that MEND no longer exists, we all know it's not true; MEND is strongly rooted in all the Southern States of the Federation and beyond, soon we will take decisions against those that betrayed the struggle and the region.”