Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa
A suspected Niger Delta militant, Suoyo Dickson, aka, Hustler, thursday in Yenagoa, Bayelsa State, narrated why he, along with his gang, blew up an oil pipeline belonging to Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC).
Dickson, who was paraded by operatives of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, (NSCDC), Bayelsa State Command, stated that he carried out the act to spite the Stateâ€™s Oil and Gas Taskforce as well as the military for reneging on their promise.
The suspect noted that he got frustrated after the taskforce which assured his group of job opportunities for showing them illegal oil refineries camps in the area which were eventually destroyed by the military, failed to compensate them.
â€˜â€™We showed them our camps, eight of them. All the camps did not belong to me. Three were mine while other groups had five. After showing them, the task force engaged the military to destroy our camps.
â€˜â€™The other groups, whose camps were destroyed were not happy with me. They said I betrayed them and they started planning to kill me and my family members.
â€œThe situation put me under pressure, more so the employment they promised all of us after seven days did not come,â€™â€™ the suspect said.
Dickson added: â€˜â€™I burnt the pipeline because they did not keep to their promise by employing us after making us to show them our bunkering camps and the subsequent destruction by the military.â€
On how he carried out the destruction of the pipeline, he said: â€˜â€™I used two handsaw blades to open up the point, I cut the handle in the valve, I fetched 20 litres of petrol, lit a spark lighter and threw it into the pipe and burnt it.â€™â€™
The state Commandant, NSCDC, Mr. Desmond Agu, who described Dickson as the â€˜ring leader,â€ noted that he was picked up by its anti-vandalsâ€™ team.
Agu noted that the gang attacked the pipeline at Lagosgbene, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state on May 30, 2017.
â€˜â€™The vandals fled the scene shortly after disrupting the pipeline. But our anti-vandal team was on their trail, combing the creeks and waterways for the fleeing suspects.
â€˜â€™Our search paid off. With information gathered from members of the public, we located the hideout of the mastermind of this act. The ring leader, Suoyo Dickson, aka Hustler, was arrested on June 16, 2017 at Agbigiba community in Southern Ijaw,â€ Agu said.
He disclosed that some of Dicksonâ€™s gang members had earlier been apprehended by a joint task force earlier this month while others were currently on the run.
Agu stated that the command had got a lot of convictions of recent, stressing that 16 suspects were given life imprisonment by the courts.
â€˜â€™More than seven suspects were given jail terms ranging from three to 10 years in prison. Those convictions are a warning to those criminals who are still in the business of illegalities,â€ he said.