27 September 2008
Recent coverage of the situation in the Niger Delta has been particularly lacking.
On September 25th, the BBC published an article on its website claiming a mass arrest of over 200 militants. The article has no author and the only source is the "military commander in Rivers state." There are no photos, no request for a response from militant spokespeople, nothing.
In response to this rumor, nigerdeltaunrest asked MEND spokesman Jomo Gbomo to verify or deny the BBC's claims. He responded by saying, "it is one big lie!" He went on to say, "MEND is disappointed that the BBC would report a one sided story of an event that has two sides in the conflict. They [the BBC] have access to us through this medium so we are surprised they chose not to."
We also pressed Mr. Gbomo for a response to yet more rumors that the Nigerian military is building up arms for an imminent attack on militant positions. Here is his response from earlier today:
"We do not believe that story about the military amassing helicopters and gunboats for an invasion. It is a joke over here for us. What makes the military believe that an oil war can be won by such conventional methods that did not work for the Americans in Vietnam or Somalia. We do not have fixed positions the way the Germans had in Normandy and besides the only way mosquitoes can be eradicated is by chemical weapons and this they can not use. We are mosquitoes."