Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Avengers shift to Rivers, bomb NNPC pipeline in Eleme

Again, militants bomb NNPC pipeline in Rivers

…vow to attack Bayelsa Gov over unpaid salaries, blow up flow stations
After sustained attacks on oil and gas facilities in Delta and Bayelsa states, the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) yesterday claimed that it blew up a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) pipeline at Eleme leading to the Nigeria Liquefied National Gas (NLNG) in Rivers State.

The Avengers, on its Facebook page, maintained that it used the bombing of the NNPC pipeline to mark its shift of operations to Rivers State. “By 3a.m., yesterday (Wednesday), strike team 2, carried out a major strike, bombing NNPC pipeline at Eleme leading to NLNG.

You won’t stop us,” the group wrote on its Facebook page, NDavengers: Before the Rivers attack, NDA posted at about 8:12p.m. on its Facebook page on Tuesday: “Another major pipe about to go up in flames! Brass, LNG, Boom.” It said any attack by the Nigerian Army might result to human casualties. “For every life you take, we take two. We have our reason, we play cool, we are ready, and we must cripple the economy.

Boom, Share,” the group added. The claim of the latest attack could not be confirmed by NNPC and security sources in the state. An official of the stateowned firm said that they were yet to detect the bombing of any pipeline in Eleme. But a source, who resides in Nchia, Eleme, said that there was actually an attack on NNPC pipeline in the border between Eleme and Okrika Local Government Area in the state, adding that the people of Okrika and Eleme lay claim to the area.

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, recently re-inaugurated the Port Harcourt/ Bonny Crude Supply Line at the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC), Eleme. The NDA had, between Friday and Sunday, blew five oil facilities belonging to the NNPC and Chevron Nigeria Limited in Delta State. Meanwhile, militants under the aegis of the Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC) have threatened to carry out more attacks on pipelines and flow stations in the coming days, to further drive their campaign for justice.

The agitators, who are championing the cause for resource control, also threatened to attack the Bayelsa State Government House, should Governor Seriake Dickson fail to settle the backlog of salaries owed workers. The group’s statement was signed by ‘General’ Torunanaowei Latei (Creek Network Coordinator); ‘General’ Agbakakuro Owei-Tauro (Pipeline Bleeding Expert); ‘General’ Akotebe Darikoro (Commander, General Duties) and ‘General’ Pulokiri Ebikade (Intelligence Bureau).

The fresh threat to attack strategic oil facilities came after a meeting the group held in Yenagoa, the capital of Bayelsa State. The group named the specific facilities slated to be attacked to include the oil and gas pipelines running from Ogboinbiri in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State to Obrinkon in Ikwerre LGA of Rivers State as well as the flow stations located at Ogboinbiri, Oporoma, Peremabiri, Tabidaba, Nembe, Brass, Chevron platform in Koluama, Okordia-Zarama and Biseni including Gbarain-Ubie gas gathering plant According to the group, these installations would be set ablaze because the oil companies were major hindrances to the development of the region.

The group warned persons staying within its target areas to vacate such places to avoid any loss of lives, insisting that its mission was not to kill anybody, but to cripple the economy of the country. “The Nigerian security agencies who are claiming they are securing the oil facilities in the region should stay in their dwelling places and see whether their safety will be guaranteed by the music on those days.

“We thank the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources for the bold steps he personally took to resolve the injustice created and sponsored by the wicked companies and government in Nigeria. “Our struggle is beyond monetary gains and we cannot be bribed by the Nigerian government to the detriment of our suffering people and the struggle is unstoppable until justice is done to the region. “Our Field Commanders have been instructed what to do and those who are on standby in Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Edo, Delta Cross River await after Bayelsa State operations.

“We further warn that, henceforth, any attack on Ijaw communities or person(s) by the military or para-military bodies in the region, we will not hesitate to order our shootat- sight squad of any uniformed personnel in the region.

“For the records, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) are not in Delta State, we only go there to strike and returns back safely to the struggle base, Bayelsa State,” the group said. The JRC has also vowed to attack the Bayelsa State Government House and the state governor, Seriake Dickson, over the continued inability of his government to pay workers’ salaries.

The group said it was unacceptable for Dickson to owe civil servants and pensioners for several months without taking into cognizance the hardship these citizens were passing through during these periods. They accused the state government of diverting public funds to personal projects, alleging that the Ministry of Works has been paying for all supply contracts awarded to relatives of the governor while ignoring others.

They warned the government not to delay the payment of workers’ salaries any further as that could spell doom for the state. In a related development, the Egbesu Boys of Niger Delta, a militant group, has said that the ongoing warfare in the Niger Delta was an Ijaw fight for self-determination and not Niger Delta struggle as generally assumed by many, The Egbesu Boys claimed in a statement signed by General Tony Alagbakereowei and Commander Ebi Abakoromor, GOC (Intelligence) and Logistics and Admin that the Federal Government allowed miscreants and meddlesome interlopers seeking relevance in Abuja to gain pipeline contracts and appointments to deceive key actors of the government.

The group also accused the Secretary to the Government of Federation (SGF) of making statements that are not only preposterous, but smacks of a predetermined mindset.