By Emma Amaize
WARRI- SUSPECTED ex-militants, Thursday night, blew up a gas pipeline in Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State conveying gas from Escravos–Warri-Lagos-Abuja, property of the Nigeria Gas Company, NGC, in what is believed to be a resumption of fresh hostilities in the Niger Delta region.
A riverside dweller, who spoke to Vanguard on phone from one of the Ijaw communities, said, “We slept with our eyes open throughout the night as bombs boomed everywhere, the attackers were exploding bombs and shooting guns indiscriminately.”
His words, “They blew up the gas pipeline from Escravos to Warri – Lagos and Abuja at three different points. They struck at Opudebubor, Okpelama and Kpokpo area, Chanomi creek and Sahara, behind Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL.”
“We do not know what is going to happen next, but there is tension since last night over the bombing and many residents are afraid that it will continue. Some are already fleeing their communities because they suspect that government would deploy security agents to hunt for those bombing the pipelines and they do not want to be caught in the ensuing crossfire.”
On Thursday, Niger Delta ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, who a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos, issued a bench warrant for his arrest, same day, raised the alarm that some persons were planning to bomb crude oil facilities and pipelines and other facilities in the Niger Delta and attribute the havoc to him.
He cited those allegedly dissatisfied with the re-election of Governor Henry Seriake-Dickson fo Bayelsa state and urged them to desist from plan.
His words, “I want to admonish those that are still aggrieved as a result of the outcome of the election not to resort to destruction of national assets, especially crude oil facilities and pipelines and attribute it to me because of my position on the election.”
He asserted that destroying crude oil facilities would not do the country any good and urged them “to support the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to succeed.”
Tompolo alluded that he was being persecuted for refusing to support the All Progressives Congress, APC, governorship candidate, in the Bayelsa election.
Contacted Friday morning, chair, Delta Waterways and Land Security Committee, Chief Boro Opudu, said, “I am hearing rumour about such incident but I have not confirmed what happened. I cannot, therefore, speak on the matter until I have my facts.”