Sylvester Idowu in Warri
Less than 24 hours after it claimed the bombing of a pipeline, Urhobo/Isoko militant group, Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM) last night claimed it blasted Oviri-Ogor delivery line to the Quality Control Centre (QCC) operated by Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) in Delta State.
The group, in a statement signed by its Spokesman, Aldo Agabalaja claimed its Akuma Strike Team bombed the delivery line in Ughelli, Ughelli South Local Government at about 11p.m on Friday night.
It said “In further execution of the Operation Hammurabi Code, the Akuma Strike Team, at about 2300hour of Friday, October 14, 2016, bombed the Oviri-Ogor Delivery line to the QCC in Ughelli.”
Acting Spokesman of Joint Task Force (JTF) code-named Operation Delta Sate, Lieutenant Commander Thomas Otuji however told THISDAY last night that the affected pipeline was disused and had been breached earlier.
“There was an attack on an old pipeline earlier vandalised. No product running in it. Troops on the trail to ascertain the identity of the criminals”, he said.
Commander Otuji disclosed to THISDAY that four suspects believed to be returning from the scene were arrested and undergoing interrogation.
The attack came less than 24 hours after the militant group claimed it breached Iwhremaro delivery line also operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).
Shortly after, the troops from 222 Battalion based in Ughelli effected arrest of four militants, action believed in security circle might have angered the militant group into embarking on another attack.
It said in its statement that the latest attack was not for the Shoreline and NPDC but to all owners of oil facilities in the upland.
“This is a message to, not just Shoreline and NPDC, the cooperators of this facility, but to all of you who own facilities in the upland area of our land and are still believing in the arms of flesh.
“This shall be the state of affairs until all of you adjust to taking our land and the lives of our people seriously. The Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate is not kidding with anybody and anybody should not think this is just one of those coming around to beg for a morsel of bread. Start a real and genuine engagement of real grassroots leaders from the region, not the divide-and-rule pattern, and this campaign shall cease,” it added.
The militant group warned the military not to use the attack as another opportunity to go after innocent people, adding “If you come in contact with us, it will not be a case of arrest, but a test of arms strength; such an encounter will undoubtedly result to a fight, so be warned.”