Angered by last Sunday’s threat by the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger Delta, MEND, to commence bombing of mosques and killing of Muslim clerics as from May 31 over the terror campaign and killing of Christians by the Islamic sect, Boko Haram, northern youths yesterday, promised to deal a deadly blow on the militants should they carry out its devilish plan even as former agitators and clerics in the Niger-Delta differed on planned attack.
Although the Arewa youths did not specify their mode of retaliation, they warned MEND not to arrogate to itself the monopoly of violence.
The northern youths’ warning was handed down by the National President of the Arewa Youths Forum, Alhaji Ibrahim Gambo Gujungu in Abuja.
Gujungu made it clear that the threat by MEND would not in any way deter northerners and other Nigerians from fighting back should they attempt to make real their threat.
The AYF leader said,”the most recent threat by MEND is indeed, unfortunate, callous and counter productive, especially coming at a time when patriotic Nigerians are making strident effort and sacrifices to resolve the current security challenge.
“MEND, as usual, is putting spanners in the works for unpatriotic selfish economic benefits. It is painful that these elements are threatening more violence despite the colossal amount being paid their leadership and the training of Niger Delta youths abroad by the Federal Government to the obvious disadvantage of other Nigerian youths outside the region.
“MEND and its members are hereby warned that they do not have monopoly of ideas, strength or ability. The youths of the north and other Nigerians are united and shall face them to truncate any of their threats which are aimed at separating Nigerians along religious or ethnic divides for their selfish economic goals.
“It is very sad and mind boggling to note that instead of supporting and ensuring that President Jonathan succeeds in finding a lasting solution to the present security challenge in the north, MEND has re-opened another insecurity theatre in the Niger Delta to cause distraction and make him fail.
“The obvious disrespect, which MEND shows to President Jonathan as not being among those they respect enough to intervene in the ongoing debacle, is food for thought, to say the least,” Gujungu noted.
Some ex-leaders of the militant group contacted by Vanguard, yesterday, opted to keep sealed lips with one of them, saying, “You know our position on this matter. As far as we concerned, MEND is dead, those threatening anything in the name of MEND are paper tigers.”
However, the spokesperson of the defunct Niger-Delta Liberation Force, NDLF, “Captain” Mark Anthony, threw his weight behind the planned action by MEND, while a prominent activist, Mr. Augustine Ogedengbe, cautioned against retaliatory attacks by any group from the region.
In the words of “Captain” Anthony, “If MEND can carry out their threat, it will be a welcome development, the Christians Boko Haram roasted with bombs in hundreds are human beings. While we were in the creek, we made preparations to pay Boko Haram in their own coin, but Niger-Delta politicians pleaded with us never to carry out operations in the land.
“Now, my hands are tied as Federal Government has granted me amnesty and my group, NDLF, and I have sworn to an oath never to engage in violence. I am now a toothless bulldog and cannot bite,” he said.
Rev Usifo, who opposed the plan by MEND to take up the gauntlet for Christians said, “They should not burn mosques and kill Muslim clerics, I am not in support of that. But I want to say that Christians should arm themselves and also seek the services of security agencies to guard their churches. In a situation where people come to attack them and burn their churches, they should defend themselves”.
Activist, Mr. Ogedengbe, said he would want MEND and any other group claiming to represent Niger-Delta to be mindful of the fact that Boko Haram was fashioned to frustrate the Federal Government, headed by a Niger-Deltan and carrying out reprisal action could precipitate more bloodbaths.
Nigeria is heading for disintegration unless ——Southern Mandate
Meanwhile, the Southern Mandate has warned that sponsors of the sect must halt their activities forthwith, or else the insurgency will plunge Nigeria into disintegration.
The group said in a statement issued in Abuja, yesterday, that the sustained explosions were targeted at discrediting the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan.
“We foresee that there are no two ways about it –the consequence of Boko Haram’s present activities is the disintegration of our dear country in the near future”.
“In the circumstances, we wonder why some Nigerians could still regard Boko Haram as an enemy only to President Jonathan and his government. However, it is time to tell ourselves the bitter truth: the earlier all Nigerians from the North and South realize and confront Boko Haram as a common enemy, the better for the unity of Nigeria”, the group said in the statement signed by the group’s President-General and South/South Coordinator, Tito Zuokumor and Dr. Wilson Omene, respectively.
The group condemned those who blame President Jonathan for the prevailing insecurity without considering the attendant result of sitting on the fence and allowing sectional violence as a tool to score political goals, with which some political figures have been identified.
“Let the truth be told that there is no region or ethnic nationality in Nigeria that is weak. The West, East and South-south all have the capacity to create a similar scenario of deliberate insecurity in their zones to make any administration ungovernable just to score political points.
“And if such acts of artificial insecurity are perpetrated by a group or groups of persons from a part of the country without resolvable aims and objectives other than to waste innocent lives just to deny a particular region the right to attain the presidency or complete the constitutionally stipulated tenure of office, then we have got to check ourselves, apply restraint in whatever we do, and not acting with impunity as is presently the case with some self-seeking politicians fuelling the Boko Haram activities. Otherwise, we are all heading for the doomsday.
“We are all not unaware of the political aim of Boko Haram, but we fail to see beyond the kite which the group and their sponsors are flying in the air and progressively piloting us to disintegration”, Southern Mandate insisted.
It added that “the serial bomb explosions and death of innocent Nigerians are receiving applause from certain quarters today because those behind the barbaric acts believe they are winning the battle against Dr. Jonathan’s presidency, unmindful of the fact that they are laying landmines for the nation’s disintegration.
“The determination of a few selfish individuals seeking the highest political office to “do everything possible, whether good, bad or terrible to unseat President Jonathan” for fear of becoming too old to occupy the presidency if Dr. Jonathan is allowed to remain in office for two terms, must be stopped”.
The group urged all good-spirited Nigerians to support the federal government in tackling the present menace in order to avoid similar bombs exploding from other parts of the country tomorrow.
It claimed that Nigeria’s unity was being preserved by the petro-dollars from crude oil in the Niger Delta region and that the people of that region had borne the brunt of oil production for several decades in the interest of the entire nation.
Destination of all suicide bombers is hell——Sheik Gumi
In a related development, renowned Islamic cleric, Sheik Ahmad Mahmud Gumi has said hell is the destination of all suicide bombers. The cleric, in a sermon monitored yesterday pointed out that while young men commit suicide, they ought to reflect that those leaders who send them to their deaths do not commit suicide or send their children to die in the same way.
Gumi who has been critical of the Boko Haram sect, said in the sermon: “The prophet said the way to Paradise is easy for those that follow his path. Despite this ease of entering Paradise, those that commit suicide for whatever reason have guaranteed for themselves the Hell Fire forever”.
According to him, “People are forbidden to wish for death talks less of committing suicide. Islam is a practicable religion. Whoever therefore will be taken by fanaticism or sickness or depression to kill himself, he has condemned himself to eternity in the hell fire”.
He stressed that whoever will explode himself with explosives for whatever reason or disguise will also continue to be in his explosion in hellfire forever, stressing that this is what the hadith teaches. Suicides, he warned, are tormented by the same means they employ to kill themselves.
“Today we see young men killing themselves with explosives in the name of Jihad yet they never reflect that those ‘leaders’ that send them to such adventure never commit suicide nor send their children to commit it.”