Niger Delta Militants At It Again – Resumes Attacks on Pipeline
Niger Delta Militants – Suspected militants may have renewed hostilities against oil companies operating in the Niger Delta.
For example, a group yesterday claimed it was behind the attack on an oil pipeline at Koluama community in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state. The Friday explosion reportedly damaged the pipeline belonging to Conoil.
The group, Koluama Seven Brothers, in statement by one Angel Michael, described the attack as a warning, saying: “Our early morning hours’ strike of 12:20 a.m., January 4, 2018, at Angel II field of Conoil is just a warning to Conoil, King Solomon, and his cartel. If Conoil and King Solomon fail to address the issues behind the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), scholarships, job creation for peace and love of the Koluama clan, then we (will have) no other option (but) launch a strike to shut down Conoil.”
A youth leader in the community, Henry Omietimi, confirmed the explosion, saying his deputy, a member of a security outfit in the area, briefed him on the incident.
He, however, said he was still investigating the development with a view to ascertaining if it was indeed an attack or the aftermath of a burst pipeline.
Some residents of the area feared the explosion signaled the resumption of hostilities by militants. They claimed the loud noise was consistent with previous attacks on oil facilities.
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Also, a source at the oil firm, who pleaded anonymity, said the incident has unsettled the minds of workers, leaving many unsure what could happen next.
The spokesman of the Bayelsa command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC), Mr. J. N. Harcourt, said he was yet to receive full details from the officer in charge of Koluama due to poor network signals.
Secretary General of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) Alfred Kemepado, however, condemned the attack.
He said the destruction of oil facilities worsen environmental conditions for people of the area, urging the group to shun violence in its agitation for a better Niger Delta.
He nevertheless said he was of the “opinion that the Federal Government and her allies should be held responsible for the unending reactions from the region.
I had expected sincere attention to be given to people of the region by the President Buhari administration. Instead, even the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) that used to work a bit has been totally politicised under this administration.”
He said further: “The Federal Government and multinational companies operating within the region must come up with sustainable policies to deliberately employ more of our indigenous people at all levels of employment and also qualify them for such jobs.”