Niger Delta militants warn Boko Haram over JonathanBy EMMANUEL MAYAH in Lagos | Sunday, April 15 2012 at 11:39
A militant group from the Niger Delta is threatening to confront the Islamist Boko Haram sect should any harm befall Nigerian president Goodluck Jonathan.
This follows the recent threat by the jihadists to “topple” the Jonathan government.
Last week, Boko Haram had posted a 14-minute video on YouTube on a leader of the terror sect, Sheik Abubakar Imam Shekau, who threatened physical harm to the President.
Sheik Shekau had boasted: “You, Jonathan, cannot stop us like you boasted; instead, we will devour you in three months... for us, it is eternal victory to die working for Allah; our joy is to die in Jihad for Allah against infidels like you… "
It went on: “Allah that put an end to Pharaoh and other wicked rulers that you (President) are not even up to, will finish you and end your government. We are not afraid because we are not doing man’s work but Allah’s work”.
In response, the spokesman of a group calling itself the Niger Delta Liberation Force (NDLF) warned that Boko Haram’s acts will not go unanswered.
President Jonathan hails from the oil-rich Niger Delta and local militants have generally avoided challenging his government head-on.
“The attention of the leadership of Niger Delta Liberation Force (NDLF) has been drawn to the ranting of Islamist militants….planning to bring President Goodluck Jonathan’s democratically elected government to an end in three months,” read the statement attributed to a “Captain” Mark Anthony.
“We are warning the entire northern leaders to advise their children to be mindful of their actions and utterances as any attempt on President Goodluck Jonathan’s life shall spell doom for the entire nation.”
Asari Dokubo, leader of another militant group called the Niger Delta Volunteer Force (NDVF), said the Boko Haram bombing campaign in Nigeria is a “northern agenda” to destabilise the administration of President Jonathan.
Dokubo, who led a frontline group that waged war in the Niger creeks for years against the Nigerian military, said that should President Jonathan come under any harm, Niger Delta militants would henceforth work for the breakup of the Nigerian state.
Even more or less mainstream voices are speaking out. The head of the Ijaw Media Forum (IMF), Mr Asu Becks, said that now that Boko Haram has come out in clear and unambiguous terms, the dozen or so Niger Delta militant groups that surrendered their arms last year in an amnesty programme to support the Jonathan’s administration “should be on standby.”
In a statement, the IMF said “the Ijaw ethnic group will not fold their arms and watch any person or group intimidate an Ijaw man whom it has pleased the Almighty to pick as President of Nigeria at this point in our national history.
“Henceforth, any bomb that explodes within a radius of five kilometres of where the President is at any given time will be matched with a more devastating bombing in any area we consider appropriate to carry out retaliation.”
President Jonathan is an ethnic Ijaw.
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