Many years ago, before he died in a plane crash, the Nigerian academic Claude Ake warned about the consequences of the militarisation of commerce. Over a decade later, the spiral of violence concerning oil continues. Ake’s painful warning has come true.

As America conducts more naval maneuvers in the Gulf of Guinea, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta, (MEND) has warned oil companies working along the coastal region of Nigeria to be ready for war.

MEND said the oil companies were in for a raw deal, stressing that it had decided to step up its attack on oil installations ahead of schedule. “And there will be many more to follow,” it assured. It has also said that the military was not in a position to protect them.

The rebel group also said it had stepped up attacks against the country’s oil infrastructure by supplying explosives to communities to use to blow up oil pipelines. It said it “will offer materials such as explosives to communities that have now realised that it is better to destroy oil facilities in their territory since they do not benefit them in the first place.”

MEND also said it blew up a Shell pipeline last week.