Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
Armed operatives attached to the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) on Monday marched through the creeks of Bayelsa State in continuation of their manhunt for suspected vandals who blew up a Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) oil facility in Ikienghenbiri community, Southern Ijaw Council early Sunday.
Community sources disclosed that armed NSCDC operatives arrived the area on speedboats and gunboats before moving to adjoining creeks in search of the fleeing hoodlums.
The suspects identified as Suoyou, Iyelawei and Fynboy reportedly fled the Ikienghenbiri community after one of their accomplices was apprehended by the youths in the area for allegedly bombing the pipeline.
The trio were said to have fled the community following Sunday’s attack during which they destroyed the trunkline with dynamites, causing massive fire and thick smoke along the Agip’s Tebidaba-Brass pipeline that passed through the area.
One of the suspects identified as Peregbakumo was earlier arrested by troops of the NSCDC with support from the surveillance contractor and the community folks, it was learnt.
In a statement on the incident yesterday, the Bayelsa State command of the NSCDC said its operatives were particularly mandated to find a suspected leader of the gang identified as Suoyou.
The statement which was signed by the command’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Dauzuo Izonfate, admitted that the arrested suspect was in their custody and would soon be arraigned and “diligently prosecuted”.
Izonfate said the ongoing operations in the creeks, particularly in Southern Ijaw, would lead the operatives to the hideout of the suspects, adding that their identities and pictures had been obtained.
“We want to state that the suspect we arrested in connection with the attack on Agip pipeline at Ikienghenbiri in Southern Ijaw is in our custody.
‘’NSCDC, in its resolve to protect and secure the critical national assets in the state as mandated by our Commandant-General will arraign and diligently prosecute the suspect.
“We are on the trail of other suspects who are on the run and we will surely nab them. We thank the Ikienghenbiri community for their efforts in helping us tackle the menace of vandalism in the state.
“We are also appealing to other communities to toe a similar path in this collective war against pipeline vandalism, economic sabotage and environmental pollution”, the Corps noted.
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