The Movement of the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has resumed hostilities in Nigeria. Not only have they taken to targeting various pipelines and foreign facilities in the oil-rich south, but they recently threatened to bomb South African investments in their country.
This decision follows an alleged interference by President Jacob Zuma in the organisation’s mandate. In this regard, Henry Okah, a former leader of MEND, is currently on trial in South Africa for terrorist attacks during Nigeria’s Independence Day celebrations in 2010. MEND further claims that Zuma has become a trusted crony of Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, which shall lead only to unfortunate consequences.
MEND issued the following warning through its spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo:
In the dark days to come, MTN, SACOIL and other South African Investments will pay a heavy price for the interference of Jacob Zuma in the legitimate fight for justice in the Niger Delta
by its people. The South African president has reduced himself to the position of a hired thug for Goodluck Jonathan.
The South African Department of International Relations and Cooperation (DIRCO) has noted that it will investigate these threats. Clayson Monyela, spokesperson for the department declared that “it is matter we’ll look into definitely: terrorism has to be rooted out.” Moreover, DIRCO seems confident in the capabilities of Nigerian authorities as Monyela stated that they have “always been responsive to acts that are unlawful.”
In addition to threats by MEND, the Islamic terrorist organisation Boko Haram, which operates mainly in northern Nigeria, has further threatened to attack all telecommunication corporations operating in the state. This includes the likes of MTN, Airtel, Glo and NCC. Boko Haram claims that these entities aided the arrest of its top members by providing Nigerian security agents with the call logs of key leaders in the organisation.
Boko Haram has issued the following warning:
No matter what we cannot be deterred. No amount of arrest of leaders will stop us from striking, but… we will strike and it will be soon.
Other South Africa companies present in Nigeria include the following:
- South African Airways
- Stanbic Africa
- Securicor Gray
- The Industrial Development Corporation
- Rand Merchant Bank
- Protea Hotels