Lagos â€” The last has not been heard on last Friday’s bomb attacks in Abuja during Nigeria’s independence anniversary celebrations which killed 12 persons and injured 36 others, as the Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC), an umbrella of major militant groups in the Niger Delta yesterday said former military president, Ibrahim Babangida, contacted it to carry out the bomb attacks.
In an electronic mail to Daily Champion by Bakabio Walter, JRC’s spokesman, the group alleged that the attacks were carried out by Henry Okah with the support of IBB, and that the aim was to assassinate President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Namadi Sambo among other top government officials.
However, IBB reacting through his spokesman, Kazeem Afegbua, said: “That is a blatant lie. General IBB is too disciplined and patriotic to be drawn into this deliberate blackmail. Please ignore them.”
Part of the group’s statement said: “While we were reflecting on the journey so far, some counter revolutionary elements launched two terrorist attacks in Abuja that took the lives of several innocent people and claimed it was for the Niger Delta struggle. Our intelligence report revealed that those attacks were planned by Okah and executed by the terrorist group he formed with the support of Babangida.
“It was formed with the sole aim of fighting against President Jonathan should he forge ahead with his plan to contest in 2011 poll.
“The attack had two main goals. Firstly, to assassinate Jonathan, Sambo and others in the line of succession who were all present at the golden jubilee celebrations at Eagle Square.
“Secondly, if the President and those in the line of succession survive the attack, the insecurity arising from that would be used as excuse for the military intervention.”
JRC took a snipe at those claiming to be members of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), saying they are not, as MEND was disbanded after all of their leaders accepted the federal government’s offer of amnesty.
It said: “The attacks were a mercenary job done on behalf of Babangida and his cohorts. We know this because we were approached earlier by agents of IBB to carry out attacks in the Niger Delta and Abuja to demystify Jonathan and show that he does not have the support of his people, but we declined.
“It was because of this that we suspended our armed campaign this year. We realised that IBB was going to use our genuine agitation to his own selfish, unpatriotic and over ambitious advantage. It was when we declined that they approached Henry Okah who is a mercenary by nature, and they started with the Warri bomb blasts followed by the anniversary attacks. For now we can say authoritatively that Okah heads IBB’s terror machine and they are more sophisticated than what they have done so far.
“The recent events in the politics of the Nigerian state further expose the ethnic and national contradictions and justify our agitations for self determination and call for a sovereign national conference of all the nationalities that were forcefully conscripted into Nigeria. This is the only peaceful way of getting out of this barbarism that is threatening to create the biggest refugee problem in the world,” the group said.
It warned politicians not to “drag our region and its genuine struggle into their muddy water of politics. Also, those who are planning to organise a coup de’tat should know that they would have us to contend with as we will never allow their authority to extend into our region. We are watching keenly as the drama unfolds, knowing that after this mad dance of macabre we shall meet at the barricade.”