The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) yesterday claimed responsibility for the attacks on oil facilities onshore belonging to Nigerian Agip Oil Company, a subsidiary of Italian ENI group, in Bayelsa State.
The latest attacks on oil facilities occurred along Clough Creek, in Southern Ijaw local government area of the state. In a statement issued by the spokesman of the militant group, Gbomo Jomo, “MEND fighters at 0210 Hrs yesterday, April 13, attacked and destroyed one wellhead and one manifold on trunk lines belonging to Agip Oil Company, a member of the Italian ENI group”.
MEND warned that more coordinated attacks would be launched on oil facilities in the South-South in its renewed hostilities against the federal government.
The renewed attacks is coming on the heel of the recent order issued by the authority of the Joint Task Force codenamed “Operation Pulo Shield” in the Niger Delta to its operatives providing security for oil installations and waterways to pre-empt and ward imminent threats by some ex-militants under the aegis of Third Phase ex-militants, who had earlier vowed launch a series of vicious attack on some oil facilities in the Niger Delta Region.
The Third Phase ex-militants group, consisting of members, running into thousands had been having running battle with the Special Adviser on the Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Kingsley Kuku over their non-inclusion in the federal government amnesty programme.
Contacted over the latest attack on the oil facility in the creek of Bayelsa, the media coordinator of the JTF, Lt. Col. Onyema Nwachukwu stated that “Nothing of such has been reported either by its men or Agip Company”.
“The oil company is yet to report any attack on their pipelines or facilities to the JTF. They own the pipeline. But we will contact our men along the creeks and waterways to verify the claims of the purported attacks by MEND,” he said.