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N’delta Community Dismisses Claim By Militant Group Over Pipeline Attack, Accuses Shell

Source: thewillnigeria.com
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SAN FRANCISCO, February 23, (THEWILL) – The people of Agge community, a boundary town between Delta and Bayelsa state, have alleged that the militant group, Niger Delta Avengers which claimed to have blown up several oil installations in the Niger Delta region in recent times was just a media hype by Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) to evade her liabilities from the spill of February 14th 2016.

In a statement jointly signed by 22 people, made available to THEWILL on Tuesday, the community alleged that the spill which is claimed to be as a result of militant group attack was not due to sabotage by either the Niger Delta Avengers or any known militant group whatsoever alleging that it was just a ploy being introduced by SPDC.

The communities in the statement jointly signed by Mr. Arthur Benidiwei, Dehmeon Wuka, Chief Lawrence Orukemezuogha, Eric Faka, and Felix Galiwei among others however urged SPDC to provide evidence of the Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) conducted by NOSDRA, the regulatory agency which has the statutory duty to conduct investigations on spillages.

They also urged President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute a special task force to investigate the cause and extent of the spill because NOSDRA as a regulator has failed woefully to perform its functions as provided in the NOSDRA establishment Act and its 2011 Regulations.

“Our attention has been drawn to a publication in Vanguard Newspaper of Tuesday February 23, 2016 at page 12 wherein a militant group christened 'Niger Delta Avengers' that supposedly claimed responsibility for blowing up the 48 inches diameter SPDC Forcados Terminal Export Line on or about the 14th February, 2016 and has again supposedly issued a threat to SPDC to blow up more facilities,” the statement read.

“We the undersigned are the accredited representatives of Agge Communities both in Delta and Bayelsa State. We are located only a few kilometers away from the SPDC Forcados Terminal and the Crude Loading Platform to which the 48 inches diameter Export Line is connected.

“We have risen from an emergency meeting from our communities with the mandate and resolve of our people to make this Press Release on the claims of responsibility for the February 14 2016 spill and further threats by a militant group christened the Niger Delta Avengers.

“It is pertinent to state that Niger Delta Avengers is only media hype by SPDC to evade her liabilities from the spill of February 14th 2016. The spill was not due to sabotage by either the Niger Delta Avengers or any known militant group whatsoever and this is a dangerous dimension now being introduced by SPDC to her known corporate traits and lies.

“If at all the spill was sabotage we challenge NOSDRA to provide the evidence of such sabotage because it is immoral for SPDC to claim sabotage when there is a regulatory agency which has the statutory duty through a Joint Investigation Visit (JIV) provided for by the NOSDRA Establishment Act, 2007 and its two (2) Regulations of 2011.

“What is going on is reminiscent of the corporate lies of SPDC during the Bonga oil spill of 2011 which converted that devastating spill as a mystery spill.

“Consequently, we urge the reading public to ignore the media hype by SPDC as it tends to paint the Niger Delta Communities especially the communities close to the Forcados Terminal Area in a bad light and before the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Mohammadu Buhari.

“We urge the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces to constitute a special task force to investigate the cause and extent of the spill because NOSDRA as a regulator has failed woefully to perform its functions as provided in the NOSDRA establishment Act and its 2011 Regulations.”

Story by Joe Ogbodu