Tension has enveloped the Niger Delta following an indication that the violent sect, Boko Haram, was planning to begin attacks and bombings in the region.
Our correspondent gathered on Friday that the sect had dispatched its trained suicide bombers to notable towns and villages in the region including Bayelsa, the state of President Goodluck Jonathan.
Cities which were said to have been listed by the sect as its targets are Port Harcourt (Rivers), Yenagoa (Bayelsa), Warri (Delta), Benin (Edo) and Calabar (Cross River).
The sect which has held the northern part of the country hostage, killing and maiming hundreds of innocent people with its bombings and gun attacks was said to have vowed to spread its onslaught to other parts of the country beginning with the Niger Delta.
Members of the group were said to have reached the resolution to prove a point to the Niger Delta militants, who have engaged the sect in a running verbal war that all parts of the country including the region were within their reach.
Our correspondent further gathered that to actualise its threats, the sect had begun surreptitious movement of illegal firearms including explosives to the region.
A source told our correspondent that a trailer load of explosives was intercepted recently by members of the Joint Task Force, codenamed Operation Pulo Shield, at the border between Aba in Abia State and PortHarcourt in Rivers State.
The source who refused to mention his name because of the sensitivity of the matter said that cows were used as a decoy by suspected members of the group to move the explosives to Port Harcourt.
He said the security operatives discovered the arms during their stop-and-search operation and arrested the culprits.
There were also fears that members of the sect were capitalising on the free-flow of traffic in the highways, following the dismantling of checkpoints by the police authorities, to move the illegal arms.
The explosion that occurred close to the Port Harcourt Airport on Friday morning was said to have heightened the fears in the region.
TRANSFORMATION WATCH NOTES THAT THE LAST PARAGRAPGH BY PUNCH CONFLICTS WITH MORE AUTHENTIC REPORTS OF A WOJI ROAD INCIDENT.
- North and Niger Delta’s oil wealth – By Ochereome Nnanna (transformationwatch.wordpress.com)
- North Should Get Equal Share of Oil Money As Niger Delta – Gov Aliyu (transformationwatch.com)
- North ‘ll retain Abuja if Nigeria breaks up – Junaid [NaijaPundit.com] (transformationwatch.com)
- Boko Haram’s threat : We’ll resist any attempt to harm Jonathan – Ex N-Delta militants (transformationwatch.com)
- South-South speakers tackle northern leaders over 13% derivation [Nigerian Tribune] (transformationwatch.com)
- Edwin Clark asks Northerners: Why shouldn’t Jonathan run in 2015? -Says North not born to rule, Boko Haram different from Niger Delta militancy -Backs Tompolo on maritime security [Nigerian Tribune] (transformationwatch.com)
- N/Delta indigenes warn FG against ignoring calls for SNC [Nigerian Tribune] (transformationwatch.com)