Suspected militants in the early hours of Friday blew up an oil and gas pipeline owned by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NOAC) along the Tebidaba-Brass area of Brass local government area of Bayelsa State, SaharaReporters has learned.
The Commandant of the Nigerian Civil Defense and Security Corps (NCDSC), Desmond Agu, confirmed the attack. Our security sources said a gang of heavily armed gangsters in two double 200 horsepower speedboats used explosives to blast three different points on Agip’s Tebidaba-Brass pipeline. SaharaReporters learned that operatives of the Nigerian Civil Defense and Security Corps engaged the militants in fierce exchange of gunfire.
“Reports from the swamp area indicate that last night (early hours of this morning) a gang of heavily armed youths with two double 200hp speedboats used explosives to blast three different points on the Tebidaba-Brass NAOC pipeline. [An] operation to confirm the blast areas and extent of damage is to be carried out now, though my men exchanged fire with them,” said Mr. Agu.
He said that his operatives fought the attackers who blasted pipelines at Goulubokiri and Lasukugbene, but explained that his officers had yet to reach any of the locations owing to the heat.
The latest attack came a few days after a militant group, the Joint Niger Delta Liberation Force (JNDLPF), expressed displeasure over President Muhammadu Buhari administration’s inability to address the challenges confronting the Niger Delta region.
In a statement signed by “General” Akotebe Darikoro, Commander of General Duties, “General” Torunanaowei Latei, Creeks Network Coordinator, “General” Agbakakuro Owei-Tauro, Pipelines Bleeding Expert, and “General” Pulokiri Ebiladei of the Intelligence Bureau, the militant group condemned President Buhari’s reluctance to address the basic issues raised by the militants.
The militant group said Mr. Buhari had done little since his return from a medical trip to London where he received treatment for an ear infection, adding that they had resolved that “the oil and gas pipelines running from Ogboinbiri in Southern Ijaw LGA of Bayelsa state to Obrinkon in Ikwerre LGA of Rivers state is to be finally cut off from transmission.”
The group’s statement added that “flow stations of Ogboinbiri, Oporoma, Peremabiri, Tabidaba, Nembe, Brass, Chevron platform in Koluama, Okordia-Zarama and Biseni including Gbarain-Ubie gas gathering plant are to be set ablaze since
the oil companies are [a] major hindrance to the development of the region.” They warned those staying around and within the areas “to please leave those areas because our mission is to cripple the economy of the country and not to kill any human being on earth.” The group taunted “Nigerian securities who are claiming they are securing the oil facilities in the region.”
The militant group commended the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachikwu, for his recent visit to the region, describing the minister’s visit as a “bold step he personally took to resolve the injustice created and sponsored by the wicked companies and government in Nigeria.”
The group accused Mr. Buhari, who serves as Nigeria’s Minister of Petroleum Resources, of relegating to the background Mr. Kachikwu’s initiative. They stated that President Buhari “has no knowledge about the suffering of the people in the Niger Delta region,” adding that his mission was “to milk the region” while being deaf to the plight of the region.”