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Militants blow up pipeline, vandals damage NNPC facilities


Paul Boroh PHOTO:

Paul Boroh PHOTO:

• Boroh, MEND caution Avengers • Ijaw, N’Delta youths to meet in Warri

Suspected militants have attacked and set ablaze a pipeline belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) at Ikienghenbiri community in Southern Ijaw Local Council of Bayelsa State . A five-kilometre Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Premuim Motor Spirit (PMS) pipeline that serves the Machiver jetty in Calabar, Cross River State, has also been vandalised.

Sources in the Ikienghenbiri community told The Guardian that the attack was a result of clash between two rival groups fighting over pipeline territorial rights.

The pipeline was said to have been set ablaze while the two groups engaged each other in a gun battle over who gets the contract to survey the now blown-up pipeline.

It was learnt that residents are leaving the community as a result of the clashes which have left a section of the Tebidaba-Brass pipelines along the Azuzuama-Ikienghenbiri creek in Southern Ijaw area on fire.

Residents in Calabar told The Guardian that it was an open secret that some NNPC officials and security agents tacitly aid the frequent vandalism at the Machiver Jetty offloading pipelines to the tank farm and for which no arrest has been made in the past seven years.

Meanwhile, Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, and Coordinator of the Presidential Amnesty Programme, Brig. Gen Paul Boroh (rtd) has urged all persons bearing arms in the region to submit them and embrace peace. According to him, oil pipeline vandalism if not checked, will drastically affect even the success already achieved with the amnesty programme. He reasoned that if oil production continues to dwindle, allocation to the programme will further reduce thereby affecting the training of the amnesty beneficiaries.

One of the Ikienghenbiri community sources who spoke on phone, Ebidimo Joseph. told The Guardian the militants were struggling for the control of the Ogboinbiri-Tebidaba crude trunk line which passes through the area. He added that residents are scared as a result of the clash and are leaving for neighbouring villages for safety.

He said: “We understand it is a conflict between two armed groups for the access to the crude pipeline, one group claims to be working to safeguard the pipeline and said the other group are vandals; they have been shooting.”

He added that a thick ‘cloud of smoke’ had enveloped the community and polluted the atmosphere in the area.

The security lapse around the Machiver Jetty in Calabar , The Guardian learnt, is exemplified by the fact that of the four security posts built for security men to stay and monitor the pipelines easily only one has been completed and put into use while the remaining three have been abandoned.

It was further learnt that all these security lapses along the pipelines are deliberate so as to cover up for the high-sea bunkering that takes place between Port Harcourt and Calabar.

However, operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) who stormed the Southern Ijaw community shortly after the incident apprehended one of the suspects.

The Bayelsa State Commandant of NSCDC, Mr. Desmond Agu., confirmed the attack and said one of the militants identified simply as Peregbakumo was arrested through the help of the community leaders.

He identified the facility attacked by the militants as a pipeline along Azuzuama axis of the Tebidaba-Brass trunk line.

He said the pipeline was attacked with a dynamite about 12:30a.m., adding that the community was cooperating with his men to arrest other fleeing suspects.

Another source said the gunmen were allegedly led by persons within the community identified as Suoyou, Iyelawei and Fynboy and that after the attack, the armed youths laid ambush and shot a civilian member of the Oil and Gas Task Force in the leg.

Agu said: “About 0300hrs, a gang of armed youths allegedly led by one Suoyou, Iyelawei and Fynboy all of Ikienghenbiri community, Southern Ijaw Area vandalised pipeline along Azuzuama axis of the Tebidaba-Brass pipeline with dynamites and ignited fire on the line.

“Through community help, we were able to arrest one of the suspects and to identify some of the fleeing suspects. There was a lot of community collaboration and we are grateful to the community because they don’t like what the armed youths are doing”.

A statement issued yesterday by Media and Communication Consultant to the Amnesty Office, Owei Lakemfa, quoted Boroh as saying that so far, the programme has been a tremendous success but added that vandalism in the region must be checked.
“He said it is in the collective interest of the Niger Delta people to put a stop to the renewed attacks on oil installations,” Lakemfa

He added that he was encouraged that the overwhelming majority of the people including stakeholders, youths, elders and leaders in the region had pledged themselves to peace”, the statement reported Boroh to have said.

Recounting the success of the amnesty programme, Boroh said in the statement that apart from 30,000 youths being paid monthly stipends, 2,152 Niger Delta youths have been given full scholarship to study in 32 higher institutions abroad across five continents .

He said 2,723 youths from the region have been given full scholarship to study in 32 Nigerian universities. While 76 of them graduated from Novena University this year, a total of 728 beneficiaries are in their final year and are expected to graduate this session.

The list include 405 from the Benson Idahosa University expected to graduate in June 2016, 206 in Igbinedion University expected to complete their studies in October this year, and 115 from Lead University, Ibadan expected to graduate in August, 2016.

Boroh said in the nine months he has been in office, 836 former agitators have been fully empowered and set up in various businesses in the Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa, Ondo, Imo and Edo states.

He said the Amnesty Programme has been such a huge success that some of the beneficiaries have been elected legislators in the Rivers and Bayelsa State Houses of Assembly as well as being Chairmen of Local Governments. He said the success of the programme has swelled the ranks of thousands of armed youths seeking to lay down their arms and lead normal lives.

militantBesides, the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has alleged that the new militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, is being sponsored to destabilise the President Muhammadu Buhari’s regime.

After a long silence, MEND, through its spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo condemned and dissociated itself from the recent activities carried out by the “avengers”, saying their sudden emergence has absolutely nothing to do with the Niger Delta struggle but rather a tool by certain elements to destabilise the current government.

“MEND serves notice to the international community that the Niger Delta region shall not be part of a secessionist Biafran State. Rather, the group believes in one strong united Nigerian federation where the principles and ideals of resource control; true federalism; rule of law/respect for human rights; democracy; free enterprise and a vibrant civil society are well entrenched in the grundnorm and put to practice” he said.

Also, Ijaw youths and other youth groups in the Niger Delta region are set to meet in response to the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta region. The meeting which would be under the auspices of the Niger Delta youth organisation, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), would review the renewed militant activities in the region and take a common position.

According to the IYC spokesman, Mr. Eric Omare,
the conference which is slated for May 26, 2016 in Warri, Delta State is expected to come out with a communiqué on the common position of the youths of the Niger Delta region on the renewed insurgency and attack on oil facilities

The Guardian learnt that it would be graced by leading Niger Delta activists such as Mr. Tony Uranta, Ann-Kio Briggs and Dr. Bello Oboko who would be guest speakers and would mark the conclusion of the month-long remembrance activities of the late Niger Delta hero, Major Jasper Adaka Boro with the theme ‘’The Ideals of Adaka Boro and Renewed Militancy in the Niger Delta Region: The way forward.”

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  • eyobaba

    when you deliberately marginalize a section of the country you should expect some level of discontent, but blowing up pipelines might not be the solution. I employ the president to look at Nigerians from other provinces and identify them as Nigerians, his inability to do that has led to various groups rearing up their heads and challenging his authourity. must he allow other groups such as IPOB to lift up arms, or OPC to defend Yoruba’s against Fulani herdsmen. The ball is in the ball of the president, he has to show matured leadership

    • Kale Sid

      How is this related to marginalization? The idiots were (are still) fighting over territorial rights of who has the contracts to protect the pipeline. It has nothing to with common good of the Niger Deltans….

      • Daniel

        You are naive in Nigerian politics.

        • amador kester

          An enigmatic system in total entropy with everyone howling fire brigade solutions.. like a ship of state tossed in a storm. Return to your senses this nation. Revisit the reports of the last national conference to sustainably give some hydrodynamic stability and buoyancy to this foundering ship of state !

        • Kale Sid

          Oya, expert tell us what we do not know.

      • SANCHEZ

        You are using the resources to develop Abuja and Lagos at the Expense of the Niger Delta states. If the Federal government was serious they would have embarked on a marshall plan to develop the Niger Delta regions. They only paid lip service by giving money to Thugs for pipeline protection. they oiled the hands of the various chiefs. Now tell me how that will lead to massive development of the region. After the second world war, the Allies embarked on a marshall plan to rebuild Germany, and Japna. Now look at Germany and Japan after the second world war,. If they were playing lip service in terms of development, Germany would have been worse than Niger Delta. Once again a failed policy on the part of the Federal government. What hinders Buhari and the Nigerian government from implementing the conference report? We have IPOB and MASSOB on one side, NDA EGBESU on the other side. So if the economy is brought to its knees, what will become of Nigeria?

        • Kale Sid

          Very articulate….but let assume the government institute a Marshall plan who will implement this? The same idiots that have stolen the people dry? What has accrued (ND Ministry, 13% derivative, Royalties and Tax on the IOC …etc) to the Niger Delta over the past few years should have transformed the place.

          The problem is more with the attitude……… the people should rise up against those that steal their money , send their wards to schools abroad and then send the masses to war when they can’t have their way! The Niger Deltans are just being played by their elite….

  • Ojiyovwi

    So you blow up oil pipelines and then pay the price of a very soiled vicinity for generations to come. or, do you expect to do the desired clean up for a fee? Go get educated or get psychological help. Laziness will get you nowhere.

  • juliusonny

    Under this perplexed situation, one does not know what say. unless most Nigerians have been mentally cheated by mother nature hence their behaviors. How can a nation be developed if a group of people are deliberately vandalizing the resources which is common to everyone just because they disagree which each other or some of them are claiming the right to protect this or that. Brainless people.

    • Welli

      ‘resources which is common to everyone’. Perhaps you may help how many oil multi billionaires oilwell owners has the region produced

  • Kunle O.

    This brand of ND militancy is what you get when ignorance meets greed. Each of these attacks serves to help push up international oil prices (a boom to the world’s biggest producers – Saudi Arabia & the US), as production continues to decline in Nigeria. It ensures lower revenue to all the states in Nigeria including the ND states themselves, who by the way gets the largest share of oil revenues to start with. Because of this militancy and the general insecurity, investors have given up on any meaningful development in the area. The worst part of this is the untold destruction of what’s left of the land and water through massive pollution. Oil may be worth nothing in the next two decades (the middle-eastern countries understands this), what will you bequeath to your children when you destroyed the land and water, and prevented any meaningful development when oil was worth anything? This militancy makes no sense & I hope the voices of reason will prevail for our SouthSouth folks. There’s a smarter way – the oil is yours, so get the most out of it while it lasts through smart, inclusive, and progressive politicking! For example: form a strong, collective regional SouthSouth alliance for peace and economic development & integration (requires strong and visionary political leaders with integrity at the states level); as a region, continue to put pressure on the federal government through smart political dialogue to attract more development and investment to the SouthSouth; push for mass education and skills development for your children & the youth. None of this can happen in an atmosphere of violence and regional anarchy.

    • Welli

      Really, are we in same country. A rigged democracy where winner takes all. A security system where the strong man at the top complete wipe out of disagreeing communities at the wimps

  • Curseless

    Nigeria needs prayers urgently. The Bible says that “perilous time shall come” as a sign of the end time and for Nigeria it could not have come at the worst time. Lucifer himself have unleashed his dark angels to kill to steal and destroy on a massive scale in our dear country. This is the time we felt that for a change Nigeria could make a successful turn towards her destiny, but these agents are bent on making sure that will not happen. Economically, the country is held by the jugular and then the Avengers of the Niger Delta emerged to sink our collective hope. There is a war in the spirit realm the manifestation of which we are seeing in the physical and I strongly believe that Nigeria will rise despite if people of faith can intercede on behalf of us all. This madness must be confronted head on and we shall prevail for Nigeria must fulfill her destiny. Let us all pray for and support this government

  • Ify Onabu

    Did Buhari not keep his word to make Nigeria ungovernable for Jonathan? Why is he crying now? What is good for the goose, must be good for the gander!

  • Welli

    The last time we had semblance of political stability and solid economy was in the immediate pre independence era. 1959 constitution guarantees equal protect for all parts to embark on economic activities that will produce prosperity for its constituents. The unitary constitution and so call national unity were posters for resource grab, land grab, internal colonisation and disincentive for the nation to look back and see where it got it all wrong. People have died, States are going bankrupt, billionaires from the system are endowing professorial chairs in America, there are threats to kill more people, the cost to keep this rigged unworkable system is unbearably enormous. Do onto other as you want them to do onto you. Do not covert your neighbours property. Let’s call in the British to help us retrace our feet to the begining.