At about 11.30Hrs today, Friday, January 30, 2009, the Nigerian armed forces carried out an unprovoked attack on the camp of Mr. Ateke Tom in Rivers state of Nigeria.
The forces were repelled in spite of the massive aerial and marine assault and the element of surprise on their side.
Mr. Tom is a signatory to the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) unilateral ceasefire of September 2008.
During this ceasefire, we had hoped the Nigerian government would take advantage of the cessation of hostilities to embrace dialogue and reconciliation but instead, the government deceived individuals into fake peace parleys where they were arrested and in some cases killed.
This latest attack is an indication that the Nigerian government prefers to make military inroads during the ceasefire instead of inroads towards genuine peace and reconciliation.
Because the Nigerian government and military continues to act in bad faith, MEND is compelled to call off its unilateral ceasefire effective 0100Hrs on Saturday, January 31, 2009.
The oil industry should therefore brace itself for Hurricane Obama; a sweeping assault starting from Rivers state that will change the face of oil and gas exports from Nigeria.
*This is a Press Statement from the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND)