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Militants Continue Attacks On Chevron, Agip Facilities

Posted: Jul 8, 2016 at 4:30 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Avengers Chase Away Pipeline Surveillance Team Before Bombardment – Ukori


John Dugbe

Ughelli  – The Niger Delta Avengers said it attacked more oil infrastructure belonging to Chevron, disregarding President Muhammadu Buhari’s Wednesday’s declaration that the unity of Nigeria was not an issue open for negotiation by whatever group.

This is coming as Adaka Boro Avengers (ABA), another militant group, claimed to have blown up pipelines belonging to Agip and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), vowing to attack more oil installations in Bayelsa State in the coming days.

The Avengers said in an email that they hit manifolds RMP 22, 23 and 24 operated by Chevron Nigeria Limited in Delta State at about 1:20am (0020 GMT). RMP 23 and 24 had previously been attacked on June 1.

Mudoch Agbinibo, spokesman of the group, disclosed this in a statement on Wednesday night.

“Between the hours of 10:50pm to 11:10pm our (Niger Delta Avengers) strike team blew up Chevron Manifolds. The manifolds are RMP 22, 23 and 24. Happy Eid Mubarak to our Muslim Brothers,” Agbinibo said in a post published on the group’s website.

RMPs or remote manifold platforms are where smaller oil and gas pipelines converge before being sent to larger lines.

It is understood the facilities had been repaired since the last strike.

A military officer said the attack happened in the Warri North area of Delta State, adding: “A controlled explosive device was used to carry out the attack.

“This gives them (the militants) ample time to detonate the device even while they have long left the scene of the incident.”

The spate of attacks claimed by the Niger Delta Avengers since February has hit oil production in Nigeria, exacerbating a financial crisis caused by low global crude prices since mid-2014.

It has called for self-determination for Niger Delta region.

In a similar development, General Edmos Ayayeibo, ABA spokesman, said in a statement the attacks on Agip and NNPC pipelines were carried out about 4:00a.m on Obrigbene Creek, Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa State by its Strike Team 2.

President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday talked tough following the menace caused by militants in the Niger Delta region.

He carpeted the Niger Delta Avengers over damages they were inflicting on critical oil installations, advising that they must soft pedal in the interest of the nation.

“I assure them (militants) that the saying by Gen. Yakubu Gowon that ‘to keep Nigeria one is a task that must be done’ still stands.

“In those days we never thought of oil, all we were concerned about was one Nigeria.

“So please pass this message to the militants, that one Nigeria is not negotiable and they had better accept it.”

It would be recalled that the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) at the weekend resumed bombing of oil facilities in the region, damaging about five oil installations in a single coordinated attack.

NDA blew up Chevron’s two major oil wells 7 and 8 close to Abiteye flow station in Delta State; then followed it up with destruction of two major crude oil trunk lines belonging to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), close to Batan flow station in the oil-rich state.

Mr. Jude Ebitimi Ukori, General Secretary, Egbema and Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation (EGCDF), on Thursday said the militants that bombed Chevron Nigeria Limited RMP 22, 23 and 24 in Dibi Field, Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State chased away men of the pipeline surveillance before the bombings.

Ukori, who made this known in a chat with Independent said, “When I called this morning (Thursday) to confirm what happened, a member of the pipeline surveillance told me that the militants chased them away before carrying out the bombardment. If not for the Almighty God, they would have killed them”.

Ukori lamented that this renewed hostility in the Niger Delta region is more worrisome than the first one.

“The worst of it is that the Federal Government has not demonstrated enough commitment in terms of resolving the matter. They should apply diplomacy because the Niger Delta issue is peculiar. All the pipelines repaired by Chevron Nigeria Limited have all been destroyed again”, he lamented.

He pleaded with all militant groups in the Niger Delta to cease fire and embrace the Federal Government’s dialogue.

“This continuous bombardment is becoming worrisome. The whole environment has been devastated. The entire waterways have been polluted with crude oil due to militants’ continuous bombardment of oil facilities. There is no battle that can be won without sitting on a roundtable. If they are fighting for us they should listen to our plea and make themselves available”, he said.