By Tom Moses, Uyo
Three suspected militants who were allegedly planning to vandalize petroleum and gas pipe lines in Eket, Akwa-Ibom State last Wednesday night have been arrested by the Akwa-Ibom State Police Command.
The suspected militants led by a self-confessed ex-militant from Bayelsa State, Dickson Seiimiyefa were said to have been arrested in a hotel on Ikot Udoma Street, Eket where they held a clandestine meeting with ultimate intention to vandalize petroleum and gas pipelines in Eket and its environs.
Seimiyefa who was arrested along with Nsekbong Dickson from Afia Nsit village, Eket and Victor Emmanuel Williams from Etinan Local Government Area were said to have been in possession of high-powered Improvised Explosives Devices (IED) measuring 2.5cm, one high-powered single propelled launcher measuring 78, 4.55cm.
These explosive devises are said to have the tendency to destroy pipe lines of any dimension at any given range. The Akwa-Ibom State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Murtala Mani who addressed the press while parading the suspects yesterday said they were apprehended while planning to carry out a devastating operation in Eket.
Mani who was represented by the state’s Police Public Relations Officer, (PPRO), Delia Nwawe noted that, “A group of suspected young militants who were planning to vandalize pipe lines in Akwa-Ibom have been arrested.
“As the Commissioner of Police in the state always say, he keeps his promises, so, the three suspected militants which I refer to as hoodlums have been arrested and the command has been able to recover two high-powered Improvised Explosive Devices measuring 2.5 Cm, 44.5 cm, one high-powered single propelled launcher measuring 78, 4.55 cm.
“They are capable of destroying pipe lines, gas lines talk-less of human beings. It is not acceptable, that is why we are saying to people who are engaged in unlawful business to stay away from Akwa-Ibom.
“We found them at the Eket axis of the state. The leader is Nelson Seimiyefa from Bayelsa State, Victor Emmanuel Williams (Etinan) and Nseobong Dickson (Eket). They were arrested while actually planning to vandalize pipe lines in Akwa-Ibom but as far as Akwa-Ibom is concerned, we had to stop them.
According the CP, “The Anti-Robbery Squad, have clear directive to make sure that hoodlums and people who do not have legitimate businesses in the state are evacuated from the state” adding, “We have a promise to keep Akwa-Ibom safe and conducive for the residents and investors and people are meant to engage in things that are noble in Akwa-Ibom”.
Continuing, Mani said, “Our pipe line will remain safe as our highly powered intelligence is moving around and ahead of criminals to ensure that criminal acts are nipped in the bud”. But speaking with the Saturday Vanguard, all the suspects denied the allegations levelled against them including the masks they were putting on.