The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Monday, threatened to reverse its unilateral ceasefire and bomb oil facilities in the oil-rich region.
A statement by its spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo, indicated the group may shelve the ceasefire to protest the rumoured plans by Sheel Petroleum Development Corporation (SPDC) to move its headquarters in Lagos.
MEND had on May 30, 2014, declared a unilateral ceasefire after consistent attacks by several militant groups dipped Nigeria’s oil production, thereby affecting national revenue.
But Gbomo in a statement said the group was alarmed over media reports of a planned relocation of SPDC’s headquarters to Lagos.
The rumoured relocation is coming barely a month after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, advised international oil companies (IOCs) to move their headquarters to areas of their operations.
“We are alarmed over media reports of the planned or rumoured relocation of Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) back to Lagos from Port Harcourt, Rivers State,” the statement reads.
“If it is true, we urge SPDC to shelve the idea as the move has the likely consequence of reawakening restiveness in the Niger Delta region.
“Quite apart from the massive loss of jobs, opportunities, taxes and other incentives the planned move would cause in the medium to short term, it is clear to all stakeholders, including the Federal Government, that such a move is ill-advised.
“Especially against the backdrop of the recent directive from the Federal Government to the IOCs to relocate to their areas of operation in the Niger Delta.”
It argued the oil-rich region was no longer hostile to the business interests of the IOCs’ and attributed the peace to the enervating efforts of MEND, the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF), the federal government and states in the region.
“There is, therefore, no reason whatsoever for SPDC to relocate back to Lagos,” the group continued.
“We use this opportunity to warn that we shall reconsider the unilateral ceasefire of May 30, 2014, if SPDC relocates back to Lagos.”
MEND also commented on the allegation former President Goodluck Jonathan, received a whopping $200 million kickback from the OPL 245 Malabu oil deal.
It said the arraignment of former Attorney General of the Federation, Mohammed Adoke, at the Federal High Court, Abuja, is a direct indictment of Mr. Jonathan.
MEND said, “Like millions of Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora who have keenly followed the OPL 245 saga, we have reasonable grounds to suspect that former President Jonathan may have indeed compromised his high office with regard to the matter, more especially, given the fact that key officials of his Administration, including the then Attorney General of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Bello Adoke have been indicted and charged before the Federal High Court in Abuja.
“We are therefore in full support of moves by the House of Representatives to summon the former President to appear before the House to give answers to the myriad of questions concerning his role in OPL 245.
“Where he refuses to honour the invitation, we urge the House to invoke its inherent powers to compel his appearance.”
MEND also expressed sadness and suspicion over the death of Rear Admiral Daniel Teikumo Ikoli’s on April 5.
While it agreed death is an inevitable end for mortals, the group, however, said the conflicting reports surrounding the circumstances of Mr. Ikoli’s passage has fuelled suspicion.
“We are therefore calling on the Nigerian military high command to initiate a thorough investigation into the remote and immediate circumstances surrounding the death of the late Rear Admiral who was one of the shining lights of the Ijaw ethnic nationality in the Nigerian Navy,” it said.