Fear Heightens In Niger Delta As Group Recruits Opc Members To Guard Pipelines
SAN FRANCISCO, February 23, (THEWILL) – There is palpable fear of clashes in the Niger Delta region between the newly resurrected militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, who had vowed to reduce Nigeria's daily oil output, and a group which said it have started recruiting members of the Oodua Peoples Congress to join them fight oil pipeline vandals in the region.
The militant group had served notice of attacks on more oil installations in the region until the Federal Government addresses its grievances.
But a group with the name Coast Guard of the Federation on Tuesday insisted on their resolved to checkmate activities of pipeline vandalism, sea piracy, oil bunkering and other criminalities in the coaster areas in the Country.
The group said that they have started recruiting members of the Oodua Peoples Congress to complement it effort in checking crimes in the Niger Delta region.
Commandant General of security group, ‘Commander’ Bibi Oduku, after a meeting with some OPC leaders from South-West, said that the two groups have agreed to synergize in the area of crime prevention, particularly in the protection of oil installation across the coaster communities.
Commander Bibi disclosed that the security group had earlier begun the recruitment of ex-militant leaders and agitator from the Niger Delta for the same purpose.
He said that the recruitment of the OPC members will aid the fight against criminalities as they will work in collaboration with the Joint Task Force, (JTF) personnel and other security agencies.
“We are currently working on getting maps of pipelines from different communities. Our men will be stationed in different communities where oil and gas installations are located for prompt response and intervention should there be any security breach,” he said.
“We are ready to confront vandals headlong, because we will not allow a small number of criminal hijack our collective wealth. We have also been brainstorming with some leaders in South-east and North-Central on how best to maintain peace in this region and ensure that the fragile security situation does not get worse.”
THEWILL recalls that the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, had in a statement obtained in Warri, Delta State, threatened to reduce Nigeria's daily oil production and supply to zero barrel if its agitation was ignored.
“We are being oppressed, pushed to the wall on various fronts, which is why we have picked up the challenge to be the outlaws this government will have to contend with till daily production of oil is reduced to zero in the Niger Delta, so government can use the oil from the North to run Nigeria's mono-economy, the militant group had threatened.
Meanwhile, the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers have claimed responsibility for the Clough Creek Tebidaba Agip pipeline manifold attack on Friday, last week in Bayelsa state.
The group said the attack was carried out by its “Strike Team 6”, one of the numerous strike teams of the Niger Delta Avengers all around the region as its two weeks ultimatum to the Buhari led government is about to elapse.
In an electronic statement sent to our correspondent on Tuesday, the group said; “This is in line with the recent displeasurable happenings in the region for which we outlined in the position and demands in an earlier post tagged “Operation Red Economy.
“We are hoping this warning operation will awaken the federal government to attend to our demands as untold terror will befall the oil sector in the Niger Delta upon the elapse of our ultimatum.”
“To further emphasize our seriousness; we have concluded all arrangement with men positioned strategically across the region waiting for direction from our high command to unleash more of such attacks in the days and weeks ahead.”
“The Niger Delta Avengers will give our eyes no sleep for as long as the Buhari led administration will continue to marginalize and enslave our people”, the statement from one Manson Hills said.
Story by Joe Ogbodu