- ***Why we blew up 42-inch NPDC/ND delivery line in Delta —NDGJM
- ***It’s oil spillage, not militant attack- Urhobo youth leader
By Emma Amaize, Festus Ahon & Perez Brisibe
UGHELLI—AFTER attacking the 42-inch delivery line operated by Nigerian Petroleum Development Company, NPDC and Niger Delta Western, in Otu-Jeremi, Delta State, weekend, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, NDGJM, yesterday announced that it was not ready for talks with the Federal Government.
NDGJM, which also warned government to be cautious of conflict merchants and political jobbers in the region, in a statement by “Gen” Aldo Agbalaja, the militant group said: “Be wary of these political jobbers, whose stock in trade has always been using the struggle to profiteer.
We have severally indicated how to end this and definitely not through political jobbers and conflict merchants. If, and when we have reasons to trust anybody to hold discussions with, we shall, through this same medium, announce the process and the persons. This is a warning for the wise.”
It claimed its Akuma strike force hit the delivery line at about 04.00 hours on Sunday, November 27, “to register our presence and jolt those probably slipping into delusion, back to reality.”
Not by militants
However, some Urhobo youth leaders, who spoke to Vanguard yesterday, disputed the claim that the incident was caused by militants.
One of them, the national secretary of Urhobo Youth Leaders Association, Mr. Vincent Oyibode, said: “The fire explosion at Oghior OML 34, Abura Field, in Udu Local Government Area, Delta State, was caused because of the negligence of NPDC, not an attack by militants. I went to the scene with the Divisional Police Officer, DPO, in Udu and that of Ughelli South, Army, Special Assistant to the Governor on Security, Mr. Godwin Okporoko, President of Urhobo Progress Union, UPU, Youth Wing, Udu chapter, Comrade Sunday Subi.
“The explosion was caused by NPDC negligence. Over a month ago, the executive of the community, led by Mr, Wisdom Ghaghara, wrote to NPDC to inform them of the leakage on the pipeline, but they did not act accordingly. Now, fire has destroyed aquatic lives and polluted the whole environment of Oghior community. No militant can claim responsibility for this.
“The Ughelli South chairman went first; they were the ones that invited fire fighters that put off the fire. Oghior is host to OML 34 and 65, Abura field, Nigeria Gas Plant and Otorogun Gas Plant. The place it happened is the Oghior Otor Udu Traditional Road.”
NDGJM, in its statement, insisted: “In the last few weeks, we have been silent and observing. The period of silence was definitely not of inactivity. As a matter of fact, it was rather a strategy session, the fruits of which shall start showing up in the coming days.
The Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate has also observed the calculated psychological attack recently initiated by the Nigerian security forces against our people, believing that by pursuing and arresting our people, the struggle will be defeated and our resolve would be quelled. This will not work because what motivates us is stronger than the Nigerian kind of patriotism. Once again, we proclaim that we shall fight till the last man alive.”
Oghior community reports spillage
Vanguard obtained a letter from the president of Oghior community, Udu Kingdom, dated November 4, addressed to the Managing Director of NPDC, alerting him of an oil spillage at the Abura field flow line in the community and the need to clean up the spill.
President-General of the community, Mr Ghaghara, indicated that the spill, which took place in September, was duly reported to the company but the Joint Investigation Team that came in October, a month after the spillage, did not finish its assignment and nothing was done to contain further spread.
He said: “The spill spread over two kilometres radius destroying economic trees/crops and aquatic lives, which has consequently affected the ecosystem in the area. Also, the inhabitants of the community are faced with various health hazards.”
Council chair confirms vandalism
Contacted, Chairman of Ughelli South Local Government Area, Mr. Paul Etiaga, said: “Some vandals actually went to the pipeline prior to yesterday (Sunday) hack-sawed the line, with the content spilling on the surrounding farmland. Days later, they returned and ignited the contents and the pipeline.”