*Says militants‘re from Gbaramatu Kingdom
*Gbenekama dismisses claim
By Emma Amaize and Brisibe Perez
WARRI- THE Commandant General, Riverine Security (Coast Guard of the Federation), Commander Bibi Oduku, has said the militants bombing oil installations in Delta State under the cover of Niger Delta Avengers, NDA hails from Gbaramatu Kingdom in Warri South-West Local Government Area of the state.
He also fingered an ex-militant leader, who he accused of “aiding and abetting criminals in their community in the recent attack on oil and gas installations within and outside the kingdom.”
Commander Oduku asserted: ”Investigation by our security outfit has shown that Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, which has claimed responsibility for the recent attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta are from Gbaramatu kingdom.”
Gbaramatu people not part of Avengers-Gbenekama
Speaking to Vanguard earlier, Ijaw leader from Gbaramatu kingdom, Chief Godspower Gbenekama, said: “Gbaramatu people are not part of Niger Delta Avengers, which took responsibility for the recent bombing of oil installations in the state and can never be part of them. We condemn their actions and are against pipeline vandalism of any sort. So, we do not see why the army should turn our community to a hunting ground.”
Chief Gbenekama asserted: “Those who are disgruntled that Tompolo issued a statement against the activities of the group should not make Gbaramatu a battlefront. Tompolo has every right to denunciate the so-called Niger Delta Avengers because they are creating trouble for him, Gbaramatu and Ijaw people as whole.”
Also, the Pere (traditional ruler) of Gbaramatu Kingdom, HRM Oboro-Gbaraun II, Aketekpe, Agadaba, has offered to mediate in the face-off between the Federal Government and Tompolo, saying that political solution was not ruled out.
However, Oduku maintained that investigations by his group pointed to Gbaramatu kingdom.
According to him, “It will be difficult for an outsider to storm Gbaramatu community and carry out such coordinated attacks on oil facilities without insider –collaboration.
“It is not possible for any militia groups to carry out attacks in Gbaramatu without the permission or blessings of the said ex-militant leader. The people of Gbaramtu are enlightened enough to understand the economic and environmental implications of pipeline bombing and spill, and as such will not allow outsiders to carry out attacks on oil facilities within and close to the kingdom,” he said.
He said his Coast Guard of the Federation was prepared to put an end to the activities of Niger Delta Avengers, which had claimed responsibility for the latest attacks on oil installations in the area and environs and called for the support of government and stakeholders to actualize the aim.
Oduku also tasked traditional rulers, community leaders and well- meaning Niger- Deltans to denounce the activities of group as devilish, advising youths in the region not to join this group and other militia groups.