News

    Nigerian Militants Blame State Security for Bombing Deaths

    A Nigerian soldier lies on the ground after a small blast was heard in the midst of 50th anniversary celebrations of Nigeria's independence at Eagle Square in Abuja, Nigeria, 01 Oct 2010
    A Nigerian soldier lies on the ground after a small blast was heard in the midst of 50th anniversary celebrations of Nigeria's independence at Eagle Square in Abuja, Nigeria, 01 Oct 2010

    Nigerian militants claiming responsibility for Friday's independence-day bomb blasts blame security services for the deaths of at least 12 people because the group says its warnings were not taken seriously. Nigeria's president says those behind the bombings are using the struggles of the oil-rich Niger Delta to camouflage their goals.

    The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta says it carried out the independence day bombings because Nigeria has nothing to celebrate after 50 years of failure, including the neglect of the people and the environment in the oil-rich delta.

    Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan is from the Niger Delta and says Friday's violence has nothing to do with the problems there.

    "Nobody can claim to be more Niger Delta than myself. It most definitely has nothing to do with the Niger Delta struggle," he said. "These are terrorists. We know them. We know their sponsors. We are on their trail. And by God's grace, some of them will face the law."

    In a statement e-mailed to reporters, Niger Delta militants say they regret what they call "the avoidable loss of lives," saying their hearts go out to the families of those killed who the militant says they know were sympathetic to their cause.

    The group blames security services for the deaths because of what it calls an "irresponsible attitude" as the statement says the government was given five days prior notice of the attack.

    The group notified reporters about an hour before the blast that it had placed bombs near the site of independence day events.

    Nigerian intelligence services spokeswoman Marilyn Ogar says Nigeria was warned by foreign intelligence services before the car bombings. But she says threats linked to al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb were general in nature. She says the government acted on that information by tightening security around the independence day ceremonies and preventing casualties from occurring at the parade ground.

    Speaking to reporters during a hospital visit to those wounded in the blast, President Jonathan admitted his security services could have done more.

    "There were security lapses, definitely," he said.

    "Security issues are not discussed openly. But we have to re-examine our security system in order to face modern challenges we have even with our without this incident," answered Mr. Jonathan when asked by a reporter "And what is the government doing about that?"

    A former leader of the Niger Delta militant group has been arrested in South Africa. Henry Okah was originally detained in Angola three years ago and transferred to Nigerian custody before he was released last year as part of a Niger Delta amnesty program. He is due in court Monday.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Processi
    X
    Katherine Gypson
    July 27, 2016 6:21 PM
    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora