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Bellview: Group Claims Responsibility

Posted by By Tony Ita Etim, Felix Nwaneri on 2005/10/27 | Views: 1984 |

Bellview: Group Claims Responsibility

A shadowy group claiming to represent Niger Delta interest yesterday claimed responsibility for the crashed Bellview 210 plane.

A shadowy group claiming to represent Niger Delta interest yesterday claimed responsibility for the crashed Bellview 210 plane.

Simply identified as Coalition for Militant Action in the Niger Delta (COMA), the group in a statement in Port Harcourt last night and signed by Alliance Leader, Alaye Temi and Chief Strategy, Architect David Igbi said that they will continue to target those who oppress the region.

The statement titled: "On the crash of the Bellview Airplane Boeing 737 on the 23rd of October, 2005: read:

"The Coalition for Militant Action in the Niger Delta (COMA) by this statement accepts the responsibility for the crash of the Bellview Airplane Boeing 737 which crashed into a remote area of Ogun State last Saturday few minutes after take-off.

"The crash at Ogun was not the expected outcome and was due to a failure of an installed deprogrammer aboard the airship.

"Let us once again state that we resist with vehemence the continued detention of the flag-bearer of the Niger Delta struggle, Mujahid Dokubo-Asari and until he is unconditionally released, we will continue to vent our anger on agents and infrastructures of the Nigerian state. They that haunt will be haunted. Those that sow deceit and discord will have fury visit them in their backyards.

"The continued explanation and despoliation of the Niger Delta will be resisted with all our might. The vain glory vaunted by the falsehood called Nigeria shall be called to nought. We will state again that if Dokubo-Asari is not released in good time, we shall release fear and insecurity in the hearts and minds of every cohort of the Obasanjo regime. This government is a fraud, utterly vindictive and lack the will to provide to the Niger Delta, the quality of life that they deserve.

"The Coalition of Militant Action (COMA), is a strategic alliance of all militant groups in the Niger Delta who reject the strange decision of the Niger Delta People's Volunteer Force to stay militant action. Alliance members include: The Isein Justice Movement, Ijaw Militant Group, Niger Delta Guerillas, The Ogoni Justice Seekers, the Movement for Mass Militancy in the Niger Delta, Judgement Day Coalition and several others.

"In our earlier communications, we maintained that "Our actions will be swift, heavy hitting and decisive. Nothing will be the same again. You do not abduct a leader and flagbearer like Dokubo-Asari and still believe that all can still be well." We stand by all these.

"All Niger Deltans and friends of the Niger Delta are advised to stay off suspected targets. There shall be no vindictive action on the basis of tribe and ethnicity. Fury action taken will be focused on interests and agents of the government of the Nigerian state.

"We therefore call on all Niger Deltans to support our cause. We have been pushed to the wall and have turned about. It is either Dokubo-Asari is released OR they will see no peace.

"Let us now begin to watch and pray."

Meanwhile, Inspector-General of Police, Mr. Sunday Ehindero may have goofed as government yesterday said Black Box of the ill-fated Bellview aircraft which crashed last Saturday at Lisa, Ogun State, has not been found.

Ehindero had told reporters at site of the crash that the black box had been found by his men.

Confirmation to this effect, is coming even as government has officially invited United States government to assist in unraveling mystery behind the tragedy.

Ehindero, who visited the accident scene in company of Deputy Inspector-General of Police (DIG Operations) Mike Okiro and outgoing Ogun State Police Commissioner, Tunji Alapini had said that the box was found on Sunday and handed over to an investigating team by a Police rescue team led by Commissioner of Police (Air Wing), Charles Cole.

However, Minister of Aviation, Prof. Babalola Borishade, same day countered the claims, saying the box is yet to be recovered as the aircrafts fuselage, location of the box, is yet to be pulled out from a crater made by the crash.

Refuting IGP's claim, yesterday, NCAA Director-General, Fidelis Onyeyiri, who spoke through his media assistant, Sam Adurogboye said: "There is no misinformation on this matter. The Black Box has not been found."

The NCAA, however advised anyone who by accident stumbles on the box, to hand it over to the Accident Investigation and Prevention Bureau (AIPB) of the Ministry of Aviation.

On assistant from the U.S. government, the NCAA spokesman said the authority has written to the US government on behalf of the Federal Government for assistance concerning investigations into the crash.

"Nigeria has made request in all areas including investigations, escavation and getting to the root of the accident as well as upliftment of the nation's aviation industry" he said.

A letter in that respect, made available to journalists, dated October 24, 2005, addressed to US government through its embassy in Abuja stated thus:

"We wish to refer to the telephone conversation between the Hon. Minister of Aviation and the Consular-General of the Embassy of the U. S in Lagos.

"Following this discussion, we wish to formally request for technical assistance in our determined effort to move the aviation industry forward especially in the light of the recent accident involving a Boeing 737 aircraft in our country."

Meanwhile, the AIPB of the Ministry of Aviation has said it will be conducting an eye-witness interview of persons with credible information on the crash.

A statement issued by the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN), signed by its General Manager (Public Affairs) Niyi Ajakaiye, said persons with useful information relating to the crash, from the time it took off till the time of crash, are requested to report in person at the Baale of Lissa Igbore's residence today.

"It also said second segment of the interview will take place between October 31 and November 5 at the Boardroom of FAAN in Lagos.

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