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Pipeline vandalism: Buhari spits fire


President Buhari

President Buhari

• Vows to deal with Militants • Military Sacks Tompolo’s town
• Avengers strike again • Stakeholders call for dialogue

President Muhammadu Buhari has sent stern warnings to members of the Niger Delta Avengers and other agitators operating within Nigeria’s territory. According to him, no group will hold Nigeria to ransom. He spoke during a session with editors of major newspapers last Thursday, insisting that government will deal with all militants and kidnappers who threaten the economy and geographical integrity of the country.

Meanwhile, armed soldiers have taken over Oporoza, the traditional headquarters of the Gbaramatu Kingdom and hometown of wanted ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo.

The Guardian gathered that the community was invaded early hours of yesterday in commando style. 

Precisely two weeks ago, soldiers had ransacked Oporoza community in search of militants. The soldiers, according to residents, had warned that the town would be taken over if bombings of pipelines persist.

The Guardian learnt yesterday, that the soldiers have vowed to occupy the community indefinitely. 

Unconfirmed reports said many residents, mostly children and women, are missing, as they ran into the swamp in panic.

Human rights lawyer and indigene of Gbaramatu Kingdom, Alaowei Cleric, described the invasion as an abuse of the peaceful traditional headquarters of the Gbaramatu people.

He said: “The attack on the peace-loving ancient town, the headquarters of the Gbaramatu Kingdom, is an abuse of the traditional institution of the Gbaramatu people. The unprovoked attack on the oil-rich, but pauperised shantytown at a time the Federal Government is engaging stakeholders in the region to dialogue with the militants shows that government is not sincere in exploring peaceful means to resolve the crisis.

“This is the height of government inhumanity to the citizens under its protection. What is the offence of Oporoza people to warrant this invasion? This is a declaration of war against the people of the Gbaramatu Kingdom whose offence is to have oil in their land.

“President Buhari should know that he couldn’t win this war with the use of force. The military action will only worsen the situation, as some other miscreants will take this gesture, as an excuse to unleash mayhem on the oil facilities. What the soldiers are doing will not do the country any good. We call on President Buhari to call his marauding soldiers to order,” he said.

According to him, no group will hold Nigeria to ransom. NIGERIA may have entered another phase of financial crisis, as the upsurge in attacks by the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) has gradually crippled government’s capacity to produce crude oil optimally. Added to the poor crude oil prices in the international market, the impact of steady attacks on oil installations could hamper the implementation of the 2016 budget.

Buhari, however, insisted: “I think they have a problem. Kidnapping is a very serious thing, like the operations of the militants who are destroying installations (in the Niger Delta). I was going round the world, telling people that we are going to secure Nigeria and by our performance in the northeast, they believe us and people are prepared to come and invest in Nigeria. But nobody would invest in an insecure environment. Those who had been in Nigeria for so many years can conduct feasibility studies. But why do they put money paying militants or paying for corruption? This means with all the goodwill we are winning, we may not be able to benefit in the long run because of the kidnapping and the actions of the militants. So it is a top priority for this government to address. Once we settle down to make sure that we deal with militants, we will deal with kidnappers also.”

The benchmark for budget 2016, which was put at $38 per barrel, on assumption that the country would be producing 2.2 million barrels per day, is no longer sustainable, as production has dropped to below 1.5 million barrels per day, the lowest in two decades.

The implication, according to experts, is that the country is losing about 31.8 per cent of its production projections, with concomitant effects on the revenue projections.

The Avengers on Saturday morning launched multiple attacks on Nembe 1, 2 and 3 gas and crude trunk line that links Brass and Bonny. Shell Corporation was operating one of the two crude trunk lines before it was sold to Aiteo, while the second trunk line belongs to Agi‎p oil.

Aiteo, had in 2014 acquired the 100km Nembe trunk line from Shell, which the latter still relies on to convey crude to the Bonny Export Terminal from Bayelsa State.

The group claimed via its Twitter account that it had blown up the main electricity pipeline to the US firm, Chevron’s onshore Escravos facility, and a Chevron source confirmed to Reuters on Thursday that the company’s onshore activities had been ‘grounded’, cutting a potential 90,000 barrels per day (bpd) from Nigeria’s production.

On Friday, the group claimed another attack, saying it had blown up a ‘heavily guarded’ pipeline close to the refinery in Warri, which is managed by Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC).

The Managing Director of Cowry Asset Management Limited, Johnson Chukwu, said the resumption of hostilities in the Niger Delta, is a serious threat to the realisation of the projected N3.8 trillion revenue, as the assumption of 2.2 million barrels per day is no longer feasible, when the current 1.4 million bpd production is disrupted. “I am afraid the ‘change budget’ is collapsing,” he said.

The oil and gas pipelines ruptured in Warri South West Local Government Area have also worsened electricity generation plan of government.

Confirming the attack on the oil pipelines, Mr. Jonathan Obuebite, the Bayelsa Commissioner of Information, condemned the twin attacks, describing it as one too many.

Obuebite, who lamented the economic impact of destruction of the key oil facility, wondered why the militants would go to that extent, knowing the economic implication to the state, the Niger Delta region and the country at large.

He, therefore, called on security agents to be more alert and to devise new means to protect very important oil and gas facilities and to prevent further destructions.

Meanwhile, to forestall further vandalisation, traditional rulers and community leaders in the region have called on government to assign them constitutional responsibilities, which would enable them manage, monitor and secure facilities.

The President of the Ijaw Youths Congress (IYC), Udengs Eradiri, described the latest bombing as unfortunate, and asked government to wake up from its slumber, as attacks have put the nation in crisis.

Eradiri, in a telephone conversation, said it was agonising irony that the Nembe attack happened, while soldiers who were meant to guide it were in Oporoza, Delta State, breaking into innocent people’s homes, beating up people and whipping traditional rulers.

Eradiri also told The Guardian that it was disheartening that the Federal Government has not begun negotiation with the militants to end the incessant attacks on oil installations, irrespective of the adverse implication of the attacks on the country’s economy.

“It is time for President Muhammadu Buhari to engage the militants and the people of the Niger Delta. Nigeria is crumbling. The oil sector, which our economy is hinged on, is crumbling. Our environment is being destroyed. The resort to use of the military will not work. The President should engage former President Jonathan and former President Olusegun Obasanjo, to learn how they managed the crisis in the Niger Delta during their time in office,” he said

Eradiri said IYC is opposed to the award of pipeline protection contract to the ex-militants, but to the communities, which he said have the ability to safeguard them better.

Environmental activist and state coordinator of the Environmental Action, ERA, Alagoa Morriss, lamented the damage on the environment and the people.

The managing director of Niger Delta Petroleum Company (NDPC), Dr. Layi Fatona, said there is need for government and the Niger Delta militants to make themselves available for talks to end pipeline bombings, which has led to surge in the price of crude at the international market.

According to him, the pipeline host communities are also affected by the criminal activities because of environmental pollution. He added that the bombings are only taking money away from the people.

The President of South South and South East Professionals, Mr. Emeka Ugwu-Oju, said though government had initiated talks with the militants, the peace meeting is not inclusive, as many stakeholders were left out in the peace meeting of last week

Vandalised pipeline

Vandalised pipeline

He noted that what is happening in the region is a product of distrust between the government and the people, who are feeling that they are not part of the government.

“Government has started serious engagement with the militants last week. There is need to Build trust between agitators, and government, because there is a right or wrong impression that this government is not for the South South people and, we cannot wish that away. This has given opportunity for some mischief-makers, who now want to take advantage of that. The government will now need to match words with actions to show that it is interested in the marshal plan for the region. They must bring all partners together and say this is serious and that we need a window for security. When this is done the ill-feelings will stop and they can get the agitators to lay down their arms.”

Speaking with The Guardian, the traditional ruler of Opokuma Kingdom of Bayelsa State, King Okpoitari Diongoli and a community leader, Chief Thomas Okorotie, canvassed the involvement of traditional rulers and host communities in securing oil installations.

Okorotie said one of the fundamental problems, which in fact, led to the vandalisation, is caused by oil companies, who use divide and rule system to deal with communities, but added that genuine involvement of traditional rulers remained the best option to building a sustainable peace and security in the region.

King Diongoli, on his part, called on government not only to empower traditional rulers, constitutionally, but to involve host communities in the co-ownership, management, monitoring and securing of projects initiated by oil companies.

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  • KK

    The argument of IYC that the government is not for the Niger Deltans is lopsided and unacceptable. Does it mean the president must be from the region before they can accept the government is for them? Why didn’t the IYC call the miscreants to toe the line of dialogue in the first place before asking the government to dialogue with them? The government cannot be cowed into dialogue by a group who has no respect for dialogue. Let the IYC call their people to order and stop using violence to attract attention. With the actions of the miscreants, it is clear where the stolen oil money had been sunk into. If government agreed to the lame excuse of IYC for dialogue, other miscreants will follow the same path in future too. If they have real agitations, let them follow the path of reason and engage the government in dialogue not violence.

    • Darlington

      I cannot be provoked by baseless ranting of ungrateful parasite like you. The only thing I want to tell you, is to leave Niger Delta region. The era of free meal for parasites is over. IYC is free to say anything because they are the true owners of the oil wealth. Buhari should prepare to run his government with groundnut and cow money from the North, hence other regions outside North are not qualified for juicy political appointments under his watch. Buhari’s government will be grounded to zero before chronic hypocrites like you will comeback to their senses. This forced marriage called Nigeria should be review if peace must reign.

      • Adeboye Adewale Saheed

        So, you suddenly realized all these your filthy excuses when Jonathan was disgraced out of office?. I can assure you, no group or individual including you will hold Nigeria to ransome so, Boko haram, herdsmen, Niger delta avengers, ipob, mend, kidnappers e.t.c prepare to engage the gallantry NIGERIAN ARMY

        • Ibu Anyi Danda

          Idiot parasite like you, you want kill every body like your brother Benjamin Adekunle did, he killed every Igbo, killed every Ijaw, killed every Niger Deltan and other Biafrans who comes across In Port Harcourt (IGWEOCHA), in 1967/1970 pogrom and genocide. just because of crude Oil.

        • KK

          Good word! The avengers think it is business as usual. They think someone will call them to a round table and start giving them contracts to appease them like GEJ did. Even their traditional ruler wasn’t ashamed to say that! They want to be given contract to “protect” pipelines when what they are actually doing is official bunkering.

        • Fazona

          You left out OPC, why?

        • Sanchez #SouthEast

          Adeboye you sound really frightened. You yoraba’s are scared of fending for yourself. You want the northern zombies to keep protecting and providing for you with our own resources. Adeboye you are an ungrateful retarded yoruba bigot. Stinking leach!

      • KK

        Your frustration can be felt visibly. The reason Nigeria should go down is because you cannot get political appointments? Aren’t you the real parasites who cannot survive without depending on others? How many of your so called avengers or defenders have contributed to the development of the oil industry in Niger delta? The only thing you know is taking up arms to destroy what the wisdom of others have built for you! When your own people were at the helm of affairs, your parasitic disease was in full display with wanton stealing. If oil finally is left for Niger delta, people like you will still keep robbing the poor of the commonwealth. If Nigeria is no more as you want, Niger delta cannot survive because of endenmic greed among your leaders and the celebration of robbers instead of those who really work hard to earn living. Stop abusing us, talk to yourselves and stop washing your dirty clothes in public.

      • Adisa Oloko

        Don’t worry oil will soon fade out. All house hold in Niger Delta can then drink a barrel a day for breakfast and dinner. Maybe your well armed youth will kill themselves off in absence of oil.

      • tunde008

        ALL these just because your useless GEJ lost election.If you like go burn all your villages but just remain there to enjoy the fruit of your bombings fools

    • haunted

      You have same mentality with these clueless people in Govt – confused, unintelligent, wise in your own eyes, never taking advice and irresponsible.

      Obasanjo and yar’dua weren’t from Niger delta yet they managed militancy in Niger delta excellently. Now your present Govt is creating choas in the region just like they have done with every other thing in this nation this past year due to ignorance .

      You are so ignorant that All things happen in your imagination , you are never realistic thus without you Nigeria will crumble and in your imagination too, all is well with Nigeria and everyone is happy/posperous and in your assesment of 1yr in office, you are the best Govt that has ruled Nigeria so far, yet what we see physically say extremely otherwise. The rest you are struggling to make up with propaganda. TALK IS CHEAP!!

      • KK

        The current government is clueless? Yet in one year, right in our own eyes we could see how heartless and clueless the administration of someone from Niger Delta was. Was it the current government that stole and mismanged all the funds being refunded now? Why can’t we be sincere for once and stop playing mindless politics that gets people nowhere?
        Mind you, I am an ordinary Nigerian and so much wished Buhari will follow the steps of OBJ in dealing with this corrupt agitation of the avengers and adopt Yar’adua’s sincere measure in dealing with the genuine agigation of the real Niger Delta people. The two measures are not the same because there are two agitations going on in Niger Delta, one is real and one is rooted in corruption and even the blind can see this. So let’s be sincere and not just be condemning the government blankly.

  • Ladejo

    This Buhari of a man is indeed a joke. He thinks this is 1983.OBJ with all his wisdom could not stop the agitation in the Niger Delta how much less a Buhari who talks and says his mind even before his adversaries.

  • simpledemmy

    Enough fire spitting. Take action, send soldiers in all d hook and crannies of their communities. Fish them out, and killed some of them. Any parent that loses kid(s) among the stupid militants will feel the pain and agony that u can’t rebel against the FG. No matter how some stupid elders are pushing them, there’s no country that a resource income are limited to d certain regions of which it’s extracted! The region can only get higher shares for its development. U dn’t kill the elders that looted your money, u are now vandals. Stupid mentality

    • jasper123

      Very correct, government should implement the resolution of the last conference or set up its own team to look into changing the political structure of this country! What this country needs is total and true federalism wherein regions will make money from thier resources and pay contributions to maintain the central government! Let me mine my gold and use the money to develop my region, let me use my oil to develop my region, let me use my groundnuts and farming to develop my region, FG should limit itself to Defence and foreign policies and let regions take responsibility of thier resources!

      • Lemmuel Odjay

        For nearly 30 years running, some of us have been writing about what you’d stated above, but those in power who have the will to change things were either afraid or have simply refused to listen.

        Because Nigeria is a plural society, we have no business installing power, wealth and fame at the center of governance. It is simply a recipe for self destruction. Only under military rule could this hold and even then, our past experiences show that even they (the military) failed at it.

        What the past 60 years have revealed is the fact that the political elite in a part of the country, namely the North, are averse to the concept of true federalism, a form of which existed during the first six years of Nigeria’s existence, when the country enjoyed real socio economic peace and progress. Since then and following the military’s wrong act of bringing power to the center, every step we’d taken had been dogged by crisis. Nigeria need to be remade…

      • tunde008

        How about the money their leaders looted? Alams, Odilli,Ibori,Akpabio, etc What did this government that have not started done for them to start bombing themselves.All the problem they raised has got nothing to do with the present Buhari government.They are just being mischievous and criminal in action.The region will always remain underdeveloped because they have no single good leader they can ever point to.with due respect to Ken Sarowiwa ang Boro,who were then sabotaged by their own very people.The avengers are criminals period.

        • jasper123

          The problems you mentioned could easily be resolved by true federalism! By then rather than they fight FG , they will have no option than to fight their leaders! Even in the current arrangement, rather than FG collecting 90% petroleum tax, why can’t they reduce it to 50% and tell those companies to use the remaining 40% to develop their host communities and ensure no one gets any oil block unless there is legal commitment to develop the host communities!

    • Ibu Anyi Danda

      Idiot parasite like you, you want kill every body like your brother Benjamin Adekunle did, he killed every Igbo, killed every Ijaw, killed every Niger Deltan and other Biafrans who comes across in Port Harcourt (IGWEOCHA), in 1967/1970 pogrom and genocide, just because of crude Oil.

      • Adisa Oloko

        Mr. Ibu. Benjamin killed Biafrans not Igbo or Ijaws. Don’t get twisted. War is not supposed to be love affair.

        • Ibu Anyi Danda

          Idiot, what is the difference between Yoruba , Oduduwa and Dahomey? you Afonja child.

    • KK

      Good talk

  • Musa Muhammed

    Shout up Mr Buhari, you are nothing but a fool… you will never have peace. You are so wicked and un forgiveness runs in your blood.
    You will soon die!
    You cannot give what you don’t have simple.


    Only diplomacy and dialogue is needed in this situation and not military action. The almighty Ununited Nations has been fighting war against terror for over 18 years and there’s no end in sight. The military action must always be left on the table as a last card, Even if diplomacy and dialogue have left the brain of the national security adviser. What of police action, that must be seen to have failed before declaring war. Killing innocent people living in the oil producing area because you want to export it, would make it blood oil in the international market and I’m sure Europe and North America will not want to have anything to do with blood oil.

  • Oladele Idowu Joseph

    I have said it many times on this forum that Nigeria is long due to be disintegrated. Going through all comments and counter-comments here clearly shows that Nigerian youths are not united and ready to take on the leadership of this country that have been short-changing them since independence. And it’s a pity that we are all divided by the ethnic lines.
    We have two options:
    (1) Nigeria should collapse into Independent Regions; using the current Six Geo-Political structure as yardstick.
    (2) Nigeria can break up peacefully without shedding of blood.
    Personally, I prefer the later because Nigeria we fail if we continue to forcefully staying together.

  • Oladele Idowu Joseph

    I have said it many times on this forum that Nigeria is long due to be
    disintegrated. Going through all comments and counter-comments here
    clearly shows that Nigerian youths are not united and ready to take on
    the leadership of this country that have been short-changing them since
    independence. And it’s a pity that we are all divided by the ethnic
    We have two options:
    (1) Nigeria should collapse into Independent Regions; using the current Six Geo-Political structure as yardstick.
    (2) Nigeria can break up peacefully without shedding of blood.
    Personally, I prefer the later, because Nigeria will fail if we continue to forcefully staying together.

  • AR

    Buhari spits fire about pipeline vandals to protect the interest of the Haua/Fulani oil exploiters but never made a categorical statement about the Fulani herdsman killers. What colour of a president?

  • KOB

    Why are you all wasting your time on issues that have been brought on by injustice,Nigeria is on the verge of Islamisation and all you guys care about is insult each other, a country where under your noses Jigawa State was created out of Kano State and given 37 LGS. while Kano retained its 44 LGs. yet you talk of equity in a country where the national cake is shared based on these LGS, Where some LGS in the Niger Delta are equivalent to5 LGS in the North.Do not cry yet your kids would soon be forced to learn Sharia Laws in their primary schools.A country where your faith is not even mention in your constitution yet you say we are in a circular state. You all should wake up as we have all wheather willingly or not entered ONE CHANCE…..

  • Opekete

    The militants are employing the ISIS mentality in the 21st century and it’s not going to work. If they chose the war path, the government may accept the challenge but by the time the dust settle down, the south south region will be unlivable for more than 20 years and this is the truth. They should have go the route of internationalizing their grievance and seer the conscience of the international community. The current militancy approach may give room to criminality and undermine the legitimate demand of the majority of south south region.

  • vincentumenyiora

    The problem of Nigeria I said it that early is: Who do you tell and he/ she is ready/ willing to act early? Until you find ways to accept this simple euphemism I fear we shall remain in that DOLDRUMS whoever is advising you people! The stake is now very high tampering with the ‘sleeping tigers’ as it were, and I told them that I was one of the pioneer students of Bishop Dimeari Grammer School in the 50s! We used to ride on bicycle pillions (pylons) from Ahoada cross the Mbioma river through the foot tracks dodging elephants in the bushes sometime – we had to wait for the herds to cross the tracks before we can continue the journey to Yenagoa – how many of you can do that?