Nigeria’s president Goodluck Ebele Jonathan is a known sponsor and patron of the Niger Delta MEND terrorist group according to Wikileaks cables and intelligence reports by STRATFOR, one of America’s top parallel intelligence organizations. Quoted:
The Niger Delta People’s Volunteer Force (NDPVF), the militant wing of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), had been decapitated in September 2005 when the government arrested IYC President and NDPVF leader Mujahid Dokubo-Asari on charges of treason. As in 2003, when the NDPVF was formed, Clark needed a strong militant capability to challenge Rivers Gov. Peter Odili and emerge as the premier power broker in the Niger Delta. Clark no longer had Asari, but he still had Asari’s network of NDPVF deputies scattered throughout the region.
In December 2005, an umbrella militant group emerged calling itself the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), made up of former Asari deputies and factions empowered to carry out attacks in their home territories. Their first operation was an attack on Royal Dutch Shell’s Opobo pipeline in Delta state. MEND has yet to identify its founder or current leader, but a spokesman known as Jomo Gbomo, who communicates to the media only by e-mail, announced in May 2007 that newly elected Vice President Goodluck Jonathan was a MEND patron. Jonathan also is widely known as a protégé of Ijaw Chief Clark’s.
- MEND incidents, Global Terrorism Database: data_collections/tops/terrorist_organization_profile. MEND
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) first burst onto the international stage in December 2005, when it blew up Shell’s Opobo pipeline in Delta state. It followed with several high profile group kidnappings, further bombings and attacks on oil installations that left many dead. [Jamestown.org]
MEND has been responsible for numerous terror attacks in Nigeria, most recently for the Nigeria at 50 bomb attacks which the group warned about and claimed responsibility for; however in a turn that left the entire world stunned, at the time the Nigerian President exonerated the group of the attack they still claim responsibility for.
October 2010 Eagle Square Deadly Abuja Bombing By MEND & President’s Denial Before Boko Haram Was Re-created: Account by Mohamed Keita/CPJ Africa Advocacy Coordinator:
The news spread rapidly on Twitter. “So, MEND has warned everyone to evacuate Eagle Square b4 10.30am lest they be barbecued by explosives already planted,” tweeted Adamo David. An eyewitness who called himself Egghead Odewale announced that “the Special Bomb Squad and Federal Fire Service” were “combing the Eagle Square.”
The explosions began. A frantic stream of tweets gave shreds of incomplete information. “Reporters say it looks like a taxi and a red sedan detonated,” typed The Associated Press’ Nigeria Bureau Chief Jon Gambrell. He followed up with a note to the AP that the bureau’s staff were safe.
“OMG dead bodies litter the streets in front of new Fed High Court. Videos coming,” sighed Odewale. A leading newspaper, 234 Next, posted: “Abuja update: Confirmed 8 dead and 5 injured in the explosion.” …
Far from descending into panic, the parade apparently went on uninterrupted. “Another explosion at Eagle Square leaves at least one security officer injured. Event ongoing as if nothing happened,” reported the AP’s Gambrell. “#MEND tells the @AP that Nigerians should blame its government for not taking the group’s warning ahead of time seriously,” he announced later.
In the aftermath of the blasts, some Twitterers clashed passionately over controversial statements made by President Goodluck Jonathan, who professed MEND’s innocence. “What happened yesterday was a terrorist act and MEND was just used as a straw; MEND is not a terrorist group,” Jonathan declared Monday on his Facebook page.
Most Twitterers roundly criticized the statements. A few who stood by the president, including @omofasa, found themselves on the defensive.
Other Cables Described That Jonathan Was Made President Because of Edwin Clark, Another MEND Terror Group Patron and Described The President As Having Impoverished The Niger Delta Via Corruption And Sham Projects According to Oronto Douglas
18. One reason Governor Jonathan was given the vice presidential appointment, Douglas explained, was because he is supported by Ijaw leaders like Chief Edwin Clark and Ijaw communities throughout the south-south (Bayelsa State is over 95 percent Ijaw, and there are significant Ijaw population in neighboring south-south states). Ijaws are believed to be Nigeria’s fourth largest ethnic group.
(C) However, in a conversation with PolCouns the night before, Douglas disparaged Governor Jonathan. He said that the outstanding corruption charges against him and his wife were troubling. Douglas then claimed that while Jonathan enjoyed the support of the”Ijaw leaders,” the”restive youth” had little respect for the”so-called leaders.” Douglas thought that, like the “leaders,” Jonathan was part of the system of corruption that had impoverished the Niger Delta for decades. “Even his development initiative is viewed with skepticism by the populace,” he said.