TODAY IN HISTORY: October 2

October 2, 1960

On this day, American governor Nelson Rockefeller, Personal Representative of American President Einsenhower, with the rank of Special Ambassador, with other members of the United States delegation to the Nigerian independence celebrations, called on the Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa and conveyed to him the following message from President Einsenhover: “I am delighted to extend, both personally and officially, cordial greetings and heartfelt congratulations upon the independence of the Federation of Nigeria. My country has noted with admiration the statesmanship exhibited by you and other Nigeria leaders in getting your nation through the successive stages leading to independence, and we congratulate Nigeria for having attained this goal in harmony and friendship with the United Kingdom.

As Nigeria takes her place in the family of nations, I am confident that she will remain devoted to the democratic principles embodied in her constitution and that her people will give generously of their talents and energies in the cause of world peace. The Government and people of the United Nations share deeply in your joy in this occasion and look forward to lasting friendship with your Government and people.”

 

October 2, 2006

On this day in Portharcourt, about 25 Nigerian oil workers, working for a contractor to Royal Dutch Shell were abducted during an attack on a convoy of boats supplying oilfields.

At least 5 soldiers protecting the convoy were killed and 9 left missing, when about Dozens gunmen in speed boats attacked the barges carrying fuel and other supplies to Shell facilities in the Cawthorne Channel and sank two of the boats.

According to one report, the attack may not be unconnected with a self-styled Joint Revolutionary Council, which claimed to be a representative of a three militant groups. This council later in the day assumed responsibility for the attack, and demanded for the release of Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, a jailed militant leader and leader of one of the groups the council represented, that is, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). However, another report said that the attack had nothing to do with demanding for release of Asari. This report claimed that the attack was aimed at stealing fuel from the convoy rather than pressing any demands.

The impounded fuel barge full of diesel was said to be held in Bilie and being discharged as reported by an insider, while the abducted workers were also thought to be held in that village.

 

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