Mike Odiegwu, Yenagoa and Bolaji Ogundele,
•Navy: we’re not sure it’s militant attack
The Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) yesterday said its fighters bombed the Chevron Escravos export pipeline at Escravos offshore in Delta State.
A statement by its spokesman Brig.-Gen. Murdock Agbinibo said the militants had resumed the bombing of critical oil infrastructure.
NDA has been observing a ceasefire since the Federal Government indicated interest to dialogue with Niger Delta stakeholders on the challenges in the region.
The militant group has been accusing the government of insincerity in the dialogue, following alleged militarisation of the region and the recently concluded Operation Crocodile Smiles, in which soldiers stormed the creeks during the ceasefire.
The Escravos pipeline was among the first oil installations the NDA crippled before the latest attack on the Escravos pipeline.
NDA said it had warned international oil companies (IOCs) that there should be no repairs of oil facilities pending the end of negotiation and dialogue with the government.
The statement said: “Today (yesterday), at 3:45 a.m, our Strike Team 06 took down Chevron Escravos export pipeline at Escravos offshore.
“This action is to further warn all IOCs that when we warn that there should be no repairs pending negotiation/dialogue with the people of the Niger Delta, it means there should be no repairs.
“Any attempt to use dialogue to distract us in order to allow the free flow of our oil will halt the dialogue.”
Also, the Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta, Commodore Joseph Dzunve, yesterday said it would be hasty to conclude that the bombing was an attack.
He said the incident occurred offshore.
Dzunve said he sent divers to investigate what happened, adding that he would react appropriately after getting the report from the divers.
He added: “We have not confirmed if it was an attack. But we know that they reported loss of pressure and some confusion. In fact, as I speak, I have sent for Navy divers. It is not even on land; it is offshore. It is not on a platform also; it’s along the line…”
So, it will be hasty to conclude that it’s attack.
“Well, if some people are claiming responsibility and eventually we find out it was an attack, we’ll know what to do. But for now, we have not concluded that it was an attack. Nobody has even looked inside that water.” The Nation