Lagos - The Movement for Emancipation of Niger Delta (MEND) at the weekend 'declared war' on Boko Haram, setting the militia groups fighting to destabilise Nigeria for parochial reasons on a collision course.
In what appears to be a dramatic twist in Nigeria's tenuous security situation, the southern based MEND said it would attack Boko Haram sympathisers and Islamic installations in retaliation for killings of Christians and bombings their institutions.
"On behalf of the hapless Christian population in Nigeria, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta will from Friday, May 31, 2013, embark on a crusade to save Christianity in Nigeria from annihilation.
"The bombings of mosques, hajj camps, Islamic institutions, large congregations in Islamic events and assassinations of clerics that propagate doctrines of hate, will form the core mission of this crusade code named Operation Barbarossa," MEND spokesman, Gbomo Jomo said in a statement.
Both MEND and Boko Haram have been involved in the destruction of lives and property in the country.
While MEND whose leader Henry Okah was recently jailed for life in South Africa, destroys petroleum pipelines in the Niger Delta, Boko Haram has been involved in the bombing of churches and other public places in the north.
Meanwhile the group yesterday claimed responsibility for the destruction of Oil Well 62 belonging to the Shell Petroleum Development Company in Ewellesuo, Nembe Local Government of Bayelsa State.
The militant group said the attack, which occurred on Saturday around 1am, was part of its Operation Hurricane Exodus.
The attack on the well head occurred barely a week after MEND claimed responsibility for the killing of 12 policemen along the Azuzuama waterways in Southern Ijaw Local Government of the state.
- CAJ News