By Emma Amaize, Soni Daniel, Egufe Yafugborhi & Perez Brisibe
WARRI—NIGER Delta Avengers, NDA, yesterday bombed a Chevron Nigeria Limited, CNL, offshore Export Pipeline at Escravos, Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State.
This came as indication emerged that the crucial meeting by the Presidency with leaders of the Niger Delta region, earlier slated for October 29, had been moved to November 1, 2016.
Giving details on the bombing, NDA, in a tweet by its spokesperson, self-styled Brig-Gen Mudoch Agbinibo, said: “At about 3:45am, our strike team 06 took down Chevron Escravos export pipeline at Escravos offshore. This action is to further warn all IOCs that when we warn that there should be no repairs pending negotiation/dialogue with the people of the Niger Delta, it means there should be no repairs. Any attempt to use dialogue to distract us to allow the free flow of our oil will halt the dialogue process.”
Fishermen report incident to security agents
Before NDA claimed responsibility for the attack, Chairman Ugborodo Community, Ofe Nene, who was contacted by one of our reporters at about 8.00 am, confirmed the explosion, saying: “I do not have details of the incident, but a blast in the early hours of today (yesterday) at an offshore location.”
A security official, who refused commenting on the incident, said: “It is either an attack or a spill; our men in the field were woken up at about 4.00a.m. by local fishermen that noticed the spill.For now, we cannot confirm if it was as a result of militant attack or rupture on the pipeline. All I can say is that as I speak with you, there is a spill in the area from a damaged pipeline belonging to Chevron Nigeria Limited.”
Attempts to speak with the General Manager – Policy, Government and Public Relations, Chevron, Mr. Deji Haastrup, were fruitless at the time of this report.
Meanwhile, the crucial meeting by the Presidency with leaders of the Niger Delta region, earlier slated for October 29, has been moved to November 1, 2016, a key member of the group, has said.
The information about moving the meeting to the new date was passed to the Edwin Clark-led Pan-Niger Delta States Consultative Forum by Minister of State, Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, according to one of the leaders.
The meeting, according to the source, has been shifted to allow for more consultations among the various stakeholders who are to meet with President Muhammadu Buhari, his security aides, Niger Delta governors and about 40 representatives of the Niger Delta region.
No fewer than 13 top class traditional rulers and prominent leaders are expected to take part in the peace parley aimed at ending the bombing of oil facilities in the troubled Niger Delta region.
A leading member of Pan-Niger Delta States Consultative Forum told Vanguard that they would also use the window provided by the shift to meet with aggrieved Niger Delta youths in the creeks to appease them and seek their support and cooperation for the crucial meeting.
According to the leader, the planned meeting with Buhari and his top security officials is not meant to be a confrontation but to seek concrete ways and means of moving the region forward in terms of development and peace.