MEND claims responsibility for attack on police boats in Bayelsa

Niger Delta militants

The group also claims authorities have doctored the medical report of its leader, Charles Okah.

The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, has claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack on two Police gunboats in Bayelsa State.

In an email to PREMIUM TIMES, a spokesperson for the group, Jomo Gbomo, said the attack took place in Perembari, Southern Ijaw local government area of the state.

Mr. Gbomo said the police boats were providing security to a former militant leader, Eris Paul, whom MEND classified a traitor.

“Ogunboss and several others now hiding in the cities, sold their birth rights for contracts and political appointments to the detriment of a just cause,” the group said.

“They are now persona non grata in the creeks, and their lives and ill-gotten properties have become subject to legitimate targets for destruction.”

The group said Saturday’s attack on the Police boats was similar to “Hurricane Exodus” in which it killed 15 police officers on April 06, 2013 in Bayelsa State.

Mr. Gbomo quoted Nelson Mandela’s words, that “No self-respecting freedom fighter would take orders from a government he is fighting against or jettison a long-time ally in the interest of pleasing an antagonist,” as justification for attack on Mr. Paul.

Continuing, Mr. Gbomo stated, “It is not yet uhuru for the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, which has announced the completion of repairs on the Escravos-Lagos gas pipeline attacked by Hurricane Exodus.

“Nigerians should not expect improvement in power availability through gas pipelines until the root issues that led to militancy in the Niger Delta have been addressed or discussed.”

Charles Okah’s medical record

Meanwhile, MEND has also accused the authorities of the National Hospital, Abuja of manipulating the psychiatric evaluation report of its detained leader, Charles Okah.

Mr. Okah was arrested over the October 1, 2010 twin bomb attacks during Nigeria’s 50th Independence celebration near the Eagle Square in Abuja.

MEND had claimed responsibility for the attacks which left 12 persons dead and 17 others injured.

Charles is brother to Henry Okah, the MEND’s leader who is currently serving a prison term in South Africa, over the Independence Day Anniversary bombing.

But Gbomo alleged that the last paragraph of Mr. Charles Okah’s report which was dated January 09, 2014, was doctored.

“This paragraph concluded that Mr. Okah was happy with the judge and was fit for his trial; contradicting the body of the report which listed several serious mental conditions including memory loss, psychotic depression, auditory and visual hallucinations.

“It even mentioned that Charles Okah could not recall the number of children he has and imagined he was in the judge’s chamber instead of a physician’s consulting room,” Mr. Gbomo stated.

The group blamed Okah’s condition on the drug, Epilim Sodium Valproate, which it said was prescribed by the National Hospital and forcefully administered on him by prison authorities.

Mr. Gbomo noted that Okah has exhibited a wide range of symptoms related to the side effects of the drug.

“The cat was let out of the bag after Charles Okah’s lawyer pointed out the contradiction between the body of the report and the conclusion to an already suspicious judge, who then ordered for another psychiatric evaluation to be conducted and signed by three psychiatrists.

“To avoid exposing this national disgrace, the matter was discussed inside the judge’s chamber while the official line was to lie that the re-evaluation was not carried out because the National Hospital has just one psychiatrist and needed two more to sign,” Mr. Gbomo stated.

MEND wondered why Oka’s medical report should be classified as a matter of national security and blamed the National Hospital authorities for allowing their staff to be used in administering poison and falsifying documents.

A spokesperson for the hospital could not be immediately reached for comments.

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