Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba and Sylvester Idowu in Warri
Niger Delta militants last night blew up another pipeline belonging to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), a subsidiary of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), at Chanomi Creeks in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
Security sources told THISDAY that the militants stormed the facility in two fast boats at about 7.45 pm and used dynamite to blow up the crude oil pipeline at Kurutie. The pipeline, it was learnt, supplies crude oil to Warri and Kaduna Refineries.
Although no group has claimed responsibility for the blast, a senior military officer who pleaded for anonymity because he was not authorised to speak, however, confirmed the incident to THISDAY.
Meanwhile, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), which had claimed responsibility for a series of other attacks on oil facilities, yesterday called on the international community to support its quest for self-determination for the region, saying the sabotage of oil installations would not stop until the federal government addressed its demand for justice.
“We are calling on the international community to come and support the restoration of our rights to peaceful self-determination from this tragedy of 1914 that has expired since 2014,” the group said in a statement by its spokesman, Mudoch Agbinibo.
It said it would continue to hit oil pipelines and disrupt the mainstay of the nation’s economy until its conditions, including the need for the resources of the region to be used for the benefits of its people were positively met by the federal government.
“Since the amalgamation of Nigeria in 1914 to date, our resources have been used to sustain the political administrative livewire of Nigeria to the exclusion of the Niger Delta” the group said, adding: “We want our resources back to restore the essence of human life in our region for generations to come because Nigeria has failed to do that. The world should not wait until we go the Sudan ways.”
The NDA, which had claimed responsibility for the series of attacks on oil facilities particularly in Delta and Bayelsa States, called on the international community especially the advanced countries of Europe, America and Asia “to come to the aid of the Niger Delta”.
In the statement entitled: “Enough of This Injustice,” the group said that it was disheartening that the people of the Niger Delta remained peaceful for over 50 years while the international oil companies (IOCs) exploited oil from the region, adding that the Nigerian government used the proceeds to develop Lagos, Abuja and other parts of the country to the exclusion of the Niger Delta.”
Specifically, it said the multi-national oil companies operating in the region and successive governments, which appropriated financial resources from the oil-rich area had failed to ensure that even the basic necessities of life were provided for the communities in the region.
It said: “Since the day crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity and quality in Oloibiri (present day Bayelsa State), what we have been asking from successive governments in Nigeria is potable (drinking) water in the midst of plenty of water mass, electricity, roads, employment, quality education/educational facilities, resource control, participation in the oil business and inclusive governance that will engender substantial freedom.
“The reverse has been the case; from Oloibiri, Brass LNLG and export terminals in Bayelsa; Bonny LNLG and export terminals in Rivers State; ExxonMobil in Akwa Ibom; Escravos EGTL/Tank farm and export terminals; Forcados Tank farm and export terminals in Delta State, operated respectively by Anglo-Dutch Shell, Chevron/Texaco Overseas, Agip ENI, ExxonMobil. The history of the communal life is horror of poverty, inhumanity and desolate living conditions. But when you move into these facilities operated by the Multinational Oil Corporations, they are living like Kings and Presidents.”
The NDA said that it was tragic that the federal government considered the people and communities of the Niger Delta as only good enough to maintain security over the oil and gas pipelines in the region while oil blocks were allocated to people outside the Niger Delta.
It said: “For over five decades, we have given multinational oil corporations and their collaborator the Nigerian State peace, cooperation and love for the crude oil to flow unhindered from our land. The continuous tranquility is only manifesting in the development of mountains, rock, valleys, deserts and lagoon but the Niger Delta territory continually alienated from all types of development and all essence of quality human life.
“Meanwhile, all successive governments worship the crude oil taken from the region. Our communities and the people are only good at securing the pipelines, oil and gas facilities. What a tragedy!
“We are calling on the international community especially Britain, France, the United States of America, Russia, China and European Union to speak up against this ongoing terror and come to the aid of the Niger Delta, as witnesses to this grave inhumanity and history of terror perpetrated against the people of the Niger Delta daily.”
The group vowed to continue with its campaign against oil installations until there was justice, saying it had “nothing to lose in the battles ahead”.
It said: “This history of terror, we the Niger Delta Avengers will resist and correct with every means necessary. We have nothing to lose in the battles ahead. Justice they say is only found within the structure of a nation-state, rather than provide this justice the Nigerian government has decided to mobilise her military might to intimidate, torture, maim, victimise and bombard a section of the nation-state and her citizenry to allow the free flow of our oil.
“Some persons, groups, and commentators may ask, what do the people of Niger Delta want? We are not like some of these personalities who run champagne parties or turn Rivers State Government House into a house patrimony of god-sons and ‘prebendalism’. They say the progress and success of a nation-state is the reflection of her constitution that is not manufactured to favour some sections and excludes the yearning and aspirations of others; but the indwelling spiritual and historical development of its people.”