In a statement by its spokesman “Commander” Ekpo Ekpo, NDV claimed responsibility for last week’s attack on gas pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Nigeria Gas Company (NGC), which supplies gas to ALSCON at Ikot Abasi in Akwa Ibom State.
The pipeline was attacked last Thursday but the Akwa Ibom State Government and Police Commissioner Murtala Mani claimed it was a leakage.
NDV said its professionals attacked the pipeline at 11:45 a.m to welcome President Muhammadu Buhari, who was on a 10-day vacation in the United Kingdom (UK), back in the country that day.
The group said the current dialogue between the Federal Government and Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) should be extended to Akwa Ibom State, if the government did not want it to shut down some major platforms and flowlines in the state.
It also vowed to move after some “selfish” paramount rulers, who it accused of conniving with oil companies to allegedly siphon money meant for community development.
NDV said it would soon unveil its website, twitter handle and Facebook account.
The statement reads: “We, the Niger Delta Volunteers, have condemned the recent claim by Akwa Ibom State Government that the attack on NNPC gas line was a leakage.
“The gas pipeline belonging to NNPC/NGC and supplying gas to ALSCON at Ikot Abasi, was attacked by our professionals at exactly 11.45 a.m on Thursday, June 16, as a welcome to Mr. President. who was due in the country that Thursday, to record our grievances and announce the presence of the Niger Delta Volunteers in Akwa Ibom State to fight injustice, marginalisation and oppression for the common people.
“It is very sad that the governor we worked for and delivered could deceive the world that the attack was a leakage; even the community around that axis can testify that it was an explosion and not a leakage, as claim.
“It is not surprising because the government is full of deceits. We urge the state government and the State Executive Council (Exco) to deliver dividends of democracy to the people, instead of deceiving them.
“We were shocked that the Akwa Ibom State Government, which has been crying that there is no money to pay salaries, could pay for over seven pages in The Nation on Monday, June 20 (pages 33 to 39), which is worth millions of naira, just to deceive the country about projects that are not in existence.
“We demand that the ongoing dialogue between the Federal Government and Niger Delta militants should be extended to Akwa Ibom State; otherwise, we will shut down some major platforms and flow lines in our state.
“Very soon, we will move after some selfish paramount rulers who connive with oil companies to siphon money meant for community development. Enough is enough.
“Soon, we will unveil our website, twitter and facebook.”
Mani had told reporters that the rumoured bombing was not a militant attack.
But a highly placed source, who spoke in confidence at the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Jubilee in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State, confirmed the attack on the NNPC pipeline.
The source said: “Yes, there was an attack on the pipeline between Akwa Ibom and Rivers states’ boundary on Ikot Abasi–Port Harcourt Road.
“Right now, engineers from NNPC’s Port Harcourt office are there working on the pipelines. Our officers and other security agencies are also there.”
Also, the state government has debunked rumours of pipeline bombing at Ikot Osute in Oruk Anam Local Government Area.
It called for calm among the residents, who might have been troubled by the rumour.
Information and Communications Commissioner Aniekan Umanah said: “There is no iota of truth in the claims making rounds in the social media.
He said what happened was an eruption occasioned by a leakage in an old pipeline of the NGC, which traversed the area.
Umanah added: “No pipeline has been bombed in Akwa Ibom State. Those peddling such rumours are ignorant of the true situation in the affected area.
“As at Thursday morning, when security operatives and officials of the state government visited Ikot Osute, the Ministry of Environment, NGC personnel and other gas companies operating the area were on site, working round the clock to ensure safety in the area.”
The commissioner advised all to remain calm and go about their businesses without fear.
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