Written by Oluwole Ige, Yenagoa Saturday, 14 April 2012
The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta [MEND], on Friday, claimed responsibility for the attacks on onshore installations, belonging to Agip Oil Company, a subsidiary of Italian ENI group, in Bayelsa State. A spokesman of the militant group identified as Gbomo
Jomo, said its fighters struck at 2.10am on Friday, destroying a wellhead and one manifold on trunk lines.
Saturday Tribune investigation revealed that the latest attacks on oil facilities occurred along Clough Creek, in Southern Ijaw local government area of the state.
In a statement, MEND further threatened that more coordinated attacks would be launched on oil facilities in the South-South in its renewed hostilities against the government.
The development came against the backdrop of recent orders by the Joint Military Task Force (JTF) code named, “Operation Pulo Shield” in the Niger Delta to its operatives around oil installations and waterways to be on the alert following threats by some former militants to commence vicious attacks on oil facilities.
Reports indicated that the militants under the aegis of Third Phase Ex-Militants, consisting of members, running into thousands, had been having a running battle with the Special Adviser to the President, on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Kingsley Kuku over their non-inclusion in the Federal Government Amnesty programme.
When contacted on the latest attack on the company, the media coordinator of JTF, Lt. Col. Onyema Nwachukwu, stated that “Nothing of such has been reported either by his men or Agip Company”.
He said: “The oil company is yet to report any attack on their pipelines or facilities to the JTF. They own the pipeline. But, we will contact our men along the creeks and waterways to verify the claims of the purported attacks by MEND.”
However, a source in ENI group, who pleaded anonymity, said, “We can confirm that a pipeline, leading to Tebidaba in the Clough creek of the Southern Ijaw local government, had been attacked.”
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