The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) website was forced to shut down on Wednesday following an attack by a Nigerian hacker group, NaijaCyberHactivists. The group is reportedly reacting to the government's plan to spend N1 billion on President Goodluck Jonathan's May 29th inauguration.
The hackers' warned of reprisals this Saturday in a letter titled "A Visit from Hell", if President Jonathan decides to retain his budget. The nine-paragraph letter, expressed frustration at the post-election violence and the governments repeated claims that the recent violence is merely one of the travails of a growing democracy.
A picture of the hacked website was published by an online media house, which also reported that this was the second attack on a government website by NaijaCyberHactivists. Although the media house claimed that the NDDC site is operational again, repeated visits to www.nddc.gov.ng yesterday delivered the same http 404 error messages: "the site could not be found."
The NDDC head of Corporate Affairs, Toye Abosede, confirmed the attack to NEXT in a telephone interview. "Some hackers invaded our site. They removed some of our pictures and replaced it with other things," he said.
Mr Abosede said the commission was forced to shut down its own site following the hacking and believes that other agencies may have been affected. "We actually shut it down," he said.
"Naturally, there must be some sort of investigation". He added that NDDC is going to work on beefing up its Internet security as the incident has shown that the site is not safe.
The hackers, whose mission is to "Hand over the whip to the horse," said that President Jonathan's decision to spend N1 billion worsens the country‘s situation. "An inauguration is simply an induction into office, AND NOT a costly long-running, nor a series of open-ended events organised into convoluted books and chapters," the letter said.
However, research by NEXT showed that N1 billion (about $6.5 million) for an inauguration is not as outlandish as it initially seems. The late President Shehu Musa Yar'Adua spent N820 million, South Africa's Jacob Zuma spent $10.6 million (N1.6 billion) for his inauguration in 2009 and President Barrack Obama broke U.S. records with a whopping $150 million by conservative estimates. Conversely, Britain has no inauguration ceremony.
There is merely ‘the kissing of hands,' a brief ceremony where the new prime minister pledges loyalty to the Queen and to uphold the law, and then returns to No. 10 Downing Street to deliver a speech.
The group also demanded that the ACN's Benue gubernatorial candidate, Steve Ugbah, and other people who were detained for their connection to him, be released; and that the perpetrators in the murder of one Tochukwu Uzukwu, are 'fished' out.
Mr Uzukwu, was a 21 year-old apprentice in Bayelsa, who was allegedly forced by members of Bayelsa State's special task force, Famou Tamgbe, to jump into a river at gun-point. Mr Uzukwu could not swim. His body is still being kept by the police.
The group who signed the letter "In source code we trust, we fighting for a cause, to make them account for all OUR money in their purse," threatened that if the demands are not met by Saturday, they will cripple government, telecommunication, and financial networks.
"We are not bluffing. We are watching with interest and we give you till Saturday to meet our TERMS." The letter said.
A Visit from HELL
Mr President, With great sadness in our heart we bring you this message.
The Nigerian General Elections of April 2011 have come and gone. But, yet again, like all important functions of the Nigerian political system, they have provoked violent uprisings in parts of Nigeria – this time, mostly in the Northern States of Nigeria – and they have left a legacy of blood and tears, and of inter-group animosity and hate.
Nigerians have endured it all – usually assured by political self-seekers and false prophets that such problems are temporary birth pangs of a new country. But the events of the past April, and of recent months, have at last blown away all this self-deception and we are saying ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!
To worsen the matter, the FG is to spend N1b on Jonathan inauguration
An inauguration is simply an induction into office, the formal transfer of power to an individual AND NOT a costly long-running festival nor a series of open-ended events organized into convoluted books and chapters.
We, NaijaCyberHactivists are therefore joining voice with other well-meaning Nigerians and WE SAY “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH”! WE ARE WATCHING and we promise that
1.) If the FG decides to go on with the N1b budget
2.) If the killers of “Mr. Tochukwu Uzukwu” aint fished out
3.) All those detained with the arrest and detention of Prof. Steve Torkuma Ugbah are not released
1.) Launch an attack against ALL financial institutions
2.) Launch an attack against the epayment bodies in the country
3.) Take down the Networks
4.) Cripple the telecommunication companies
5.) Take down all government sites.
We are not bluffing. .We are watching with interest and we give you till saturday to meet our TERMS.
“In source code we trust
We fighting for a cause
To make them account for all OUR money in their purse
MISSION: Hand over the whip to the horse”.
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