7th October, 2010
The Joint Revolutionary Council, JRC, comprising of units of the Movement for theÂ Emancipation of the Niger Delta, The Reformed Niger Delta Peopleâ€™s Volunteer Force andÂ the Martyrs Brigade, has dissociated the group from the actions of Henry Okah who untilÂ recently was the lead arms supplier to a faction of MEND.
According to JRC in an online e-mail by its spokesperson with the pseudonym, CynthiaÂ Whyte, to PM NEWS in Port Harcourt, “Henry Okah until recently was the lead arms supplierÂ to a faction of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta. His faction of MENDÂ was led by General Boyloaf (Victor Ebikabowei) who has since disbanded his unit, whichÂ represents the mainstream MEND and joined forces with the renewed efforts to bring peace,Â stability and development to the Niger Delta”.
The group further called Henry Okah “a monster that was created by frontline Ijaw leader,Â Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari. During his incarceration in 2005-2007, Henry Okah wasÂ mandated and paid to service fighting units loyal to Mujahid Dokubo-Asari. He exploitedÂ Dokubo-Asariâ€™s absence, cunningly hijacked the e-mail address used by MEND to communicateÂ with the world, sold arms to armed robbers and confiscated hundreds of millions of nairaÂ meant for the supply of arms to combat groups in the Niger Delta.
“Since his release from prison by former President Yarâ€™Adua and realising that he hadÂ lost clout, Okah sought to work with former armed robbery gangs that he had supplied armsÂ to in the past. These armed groups were responsible for bank robberies and armed attacksÂ on oil companies based in Port Harcourt and its environs.
“Henry Okah is not MEND and MEND is not Henry Okah. We condemn him totally and awaitÂ further directives on appropriate actions that will be taken on this hardened criminalÂ who successfully infiltrated our ranks to perpetrate heinous crimes. His end has come”,Â the group vowed.
Meanwhile anger is rising in the Niger Delta against Okah, who is seen by many NigerÂ Deltans as a traitor working for elements opposed to President Goodluck Jonathanâ€™sÂ presidential ambition. The Nigerian leader hails from the zone.
During a visit to President Jonathan on Tuesday,Â ex-militants namely Chief GovernmentÂ Ekpemolo, a.k.a. Tompolo; Ateke Tom; Farah Dagogo; Alhaji Mujaheed Dokubo-Asari; Shoot atÂ Sight; Busta Rhymes and Egberipapa said the 1 October bombing was condemnable, addingÂ that â€œit is dastardly, irresponsible and morally reprehensible. We reject such incidentÂ and we say that the Niger Delta people are not in support of it.â€
â€œLet it go from here and let it go to the entire world, particularly because we read inÂ the media that it was MEND that carried out the blasts. All the leaders of MEND and allÂ other organi-sations are here and we say that MEND was not responsible for that bombÂ blasts. Our struggle is a responsible struggle,â€ they said.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, Mr Victor Ebika-bowei, alsoÂ known as Boy-loaf, denied the existence of any MEND member with the name Jomo Gbomo, whoÂ allegedly signed the bomb alert statement passed to the media before the blasts.
â€œJomo Gbomo does not exist. If the person handling the media sector has a problem andÂ another person takes over, so far, he has the password of the e-mail, he can use the nameÂ of Jomo Gbomo and cover up as Jomo Gbomo. So, there is nothing as Jomo Gbomo, he does notÂ exist,â€ he said.
In South Africa, Okah is facing a two-count charge in connection with the October 1 twinÂ explosions in Abuja, which left 12 people dead and many others injured.
â€”OkaforOfiebor/Â Â Â Â Â Port Harcourt