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Militants shoot guards, blow up export trunkline

By Chido Okafor (Warri) and Owen Akenzuwa (Asaba)
09 November 2016   |   5:02 am
Apparently reacting to last weekend’s military occupation of Tebujor community in Gbaramatu kingdom, Warri South West Local Council of Delta State ...
FILE: A Niger Delta militant PHOTO: AFP

FILE: A Niger Delta militant PHOTO: AFP

• Residents flee Delta community, petition Okowa
Apparently reacting to last weekend’s military occupation of Tebujor community in Gbaramatu kingdom, Warri South West Local Council of Delta State, suspected militants yesterday reportedly bombed a section of the recently fixed but yet to be reopened Trans-Forcados export trunkline.

Although no militant group has claimed responsibility for the incident but the Niger Delta Avengers had recently cautioned against refurbishment of the facility.

The Guardian, however, learnt, that the suspected militants opened fire on local guards before blowing up the 24-inch vital oil installation with dynamites.

The unidentified assailants also destroyed the heavy equipment used in effecting repairs on the trunk line.

Spokesman for the kingdom’s traditional council and Ibe-Benemowei of Gbaramatu, Godspower Gbenekama, pleaded with Niger Delta’s leaders to come to their aid.

“Gbaramatu Kingdom is under siege. Those holding political offices in the region should note that there is a serious IDP (humanitarian) situation in Gbaramatu Kingdom. Sitting in your palatial houses in Abuja and other state capitals without concern for the dying people of Gbaramatu Kingdom is a misnomer,” he said.

Meanwhile, residents have begun fleeing the community owing to the presence of the soldiers, just as it called on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa to rein in alleged intimidation and brutality by the military.

A petition, signed by Gbenekama, claimed that soldiers attached to the joint taskforce (JTF), “Operation Delta Safe,” at the weekend invaded Oporoza and arrested two persons.

“We want Your Excellency to please prevail on the military men attached to the JTF to stop brutalising our sons and daughters as well as intimidating us. Some of our indigenes have fled their homes for fear of the unknown and brutality,” the correspondence read in part.