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Sampson: Lulu-Briggs Attack An Assassination Bid

Attack On Lulu-Briggs An Assassination Bid, Says Militants

By Akanimo Sampson
Port Harcourt

Niger Delta rebels who are locked in a struggle for socio-economic, political, and environmental justice in the oil and gas region, are currently claiming that the recent attack by a gang of alleged ''renegade'' gun men on Chief O. B. Lulu-Briggs, a Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, stalwart and an oil business magnet has some sinister assassination undertone.

Spokesperson for the Joint Revolutionary Council, JRC, a coalition of some of the militant cells including the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, the Reformed Niger Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, RNDPVF, and a host of others, Cynthia Whyte, says the attack on the residence of Lulu-Briggs and the eventual hostage taking of his wife Sienye was a plot devised to eliminate the oil chief without aiming a bullet at him.

The JRC spokesperson said in a wire statement to this reporter on Monday, ''the kidnap of Sienye Lulu-Briggs was only a cunning diversion. She could have been taken anyway else, quietly and with least effort and less damage to life and property''
According to the militants, ''the attack was not just an attack by bandits and criminals aimed at extorting ransom from the Ijaw businessman like we had assumed initially but a carefully calculated exercise involving hardened criminals, robbers and sea pirates who were recruited by inside members of the Chief Lulu-Briggs household with strong relationship and ties to his wife, Mrs. Sienye Lulu-Briggs''.

Going by their testimony, it was expected that Lulu-Briggs would give up in the cause of the attack as a result of the undue ''stress, hypertension and sudden heart failure'' the operation may cause him.

Continuing, they added, ''the perpetrators of this heinous crime were recruited by certain members within the Lulu-Briggs family who are close to his wife and who provided them assurances that they had access to the Chief's vaults and could get banks to release funds to them in less than three hours''.

This, according to them, explains to a large extent, why even when the Ijaw Youth Leadership Forum had declared that no monies must be released to the abductors and perpetrators of the heinous crime, ''certain members of the family who had access to Chief Lulu-Briggs accounts still went ahead to issue instructions to some banks and mandated those banks to expedite the release of funds to the abductors''.



Akanimo Sampson, is the Co-ordinator of Journalists for Niger Delta (JODEL), a media group concerned with the affairs of Nigerria's oil and gas region.

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