Militants claim attack on NPDC pipelines in Delta
• Umar cautions govt against use of force
• Blackout looms over attacks
A militant group, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM), has said it destroyed the Ogor-Oteri major delivery line jointly operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and Shoreline in Delta State.
This is coming ahead of the actual commencement of a peace deal between armed agitators in the Niger Delta and the Federal Government to end the incessant bombings of oil facilities in the region.
But a senior manager at NPDC said the company was unaware of the destruction of the pipeline. He said the firm would investigate the development and give feedback.
Meanwhile, a former governor of Kaduna State and human rights activist, Col. Abubakar Umar (rtd) has faulted President Muhammadu Buhari over the use of military force against the Niger Delta militants. He warned that the military option could further “inflict collateral damage” on the nation’s fragile economy.
The Spokesman of the NDGJM, Gen. Aldo Agbalaja said: “At about 0300hrs of today Tuesday, August 30, 2016, the uproot team B of the NDGJM brought down the Ogor-Oteri major delivery line operated by NPDC/Shoreline. Good job boys.” According to Agbalaja, the recent developments around the oil-rich region, especially as they concern the issues of justice and the right to protect their heritage have proved the action of the NDGJM members right.
“Now it has become clearer who is serious about getting justice for our people and who has been using the name of the region and the destinies of all our people to feather their nests, raising dusts (sic) merely to harass the Nigerian state and the oil multinationals into parting with money.
“Although some selfish machineries (sic), merely put together to achieve some pecuniary ends, have been parading themselves in the name of the people of the Niger Delta, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate remains un-derailed in its mission to get justice for the people. Those in the field just for the money will quickly rush to align with the Pa
E.K Clark’s arrangement because they were, as a matter of fact, created by some of the people co-travelling with Clark.”
The NDGJM reiterated its lack of confidence in the Clark-led arrangement, saying “he is not the leader of the whole of Niger Delta, he can represent the Ijaw nation, but definitely not all the ethnic nations in the region.”
According to the group, the drama that trailed the visit of some Ijaw royal fathers to the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, in Abuja recently is the reason equity must be a factor in setting up a body that will dialogue on behalf of all the people of the Niger Delta.
“We have once warned against the victimisation and harassment of defenseless people of the region, especially in the creeks, but rather than heed, the Nigerian military has increased its presence and made life more difficult for our people. They are now killing our people on the basis of mere suspicion. This can’t continue.”
The group said as the military was launching its own “Operation Crocodile Smile”, it would launch its own “Operation Crocodile Tears.” It warned that henceforth, it would be an eye for an eye, and that for every military atrocity carried out in the creeks of the Niger Delta, the Nigerian armed forces would have the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate to contend with.
The NDGJM advised all those working in the UQCC/UPS Erhomukokwarien in Ughelli, Eriemu Pigging Manifold in Agbarha, Otorogun Gas Plant, Olomoro Flow Station, Warri Refinery, Port Harcourt Refinery, Eleme, OB-OB and OBite Gas Plants in Omoku to evacuate, warming that what is coming to those facilities are beyond what anybody has seen before.
Umar says the Niger Delta militants cannot be equated to the Boko Haram insurgents, whose ideologies and activities are not the same. He urged President Buhari to engage in a meaningful dialogue to end the crisis in Niger Delta.
In a statement yesterday in Kaduna by Umar, titled “War In The Niger Delta: A Most Dangerous Option”, he said: “I am really frightened by the sudden escalation in the Niger Delta from where there are reports of skirmishes between our security forces and the Niger Delta militants. This is happening after the President was quoted as vowing to deal with the militants as he did with Boko Haram.
“All factors considered, the use of military force in an attempt to resolve the lingering crisis is not a good option and must therefore be discarded. As a retired General, Mr. President is well aware of the serious and daunting challenges any military will face in its operations in the most difficult and densely populated Niger Delta region.
The creeks are so heavily polluted with oil, rendering them highly inflammable. It will take the firing of a few high explosive shells to set the whole area on fire, resulting in inestimable collateral damage among innocent civilians.”
Also yesterday, the Managing Director of the Benin Electricity Distribution Company Plc (BEDC), Mrs. Funke Osibodu, raised the alarm that the continued blowing up of gas and oil pipelines by the Niger Delta Avengers was capable of plunging the nation into darkness .
Meanwhile, the Acting Director of Army Public Relations, Col. Sani Usman, said in a statement yesterday that troops carried out a raid in a part of Delta state in collaboration with the Navy.
He stated that the raid was part of the field training exercise on the fourth day of the ongoing operation nicknamed, ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ in the Niger Delta.
Usman said the troops recovered two generators, one locally made double barrel gun, one dane gun, three live cartridges and two pumping machines.
Others items recovered include: one 32 inches LG television, one Kenwood amplifier and 4 X 50 litres of liquid suspected to be crude oil at Ayakoromo junction.