SUSPECTED ex-militants set ablaze, in the early hours of yesterday, a gas pipeline in OML 30, formerly belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, in Ughelli North Local Government Area of Delta State.
Saturday Vanguard was reliably informed that ex-agitators who carried out the action were protesting the non- documentation of 315 ex-militant camps in Delta state by the Presidential Inter-Agency Task Force handling induction for the third phase amnesty programme.
The affected gas pipeline is located between Gana in Agbarha –Otor , Afiesere and Ekrajebu communities. An official of SPDC, however, said the company had divested its concerns in OML 30 the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company, NPDC and was , therefore, not in a position to make comments.
A source, who confirmed the incident at about 10.30 am , yesterday, said, “As I speak to you, the gas pipeline is still aflame.”
The ex-combatants in a statement by the group’s action chairman, Chuku Ceey Gbegbedemu, said, “At about 1.55 am today (Friday), in Ughelli North, location between Gana in Agbarha Otor, Afiesere and Ekrajebu communities in Ughelli North, a gas pipeline belonging to Shell Petroleum Development Company was and set on fire”.
“We will continue to destroy oil installations and oil companies in Delta state are advised to pack until we get our amnesty slots. This is just a warning. Federal Government must document the remaining 315 ex-militant camps in Delta state like was done in phase one and two.
“If not, there will be no peace in Niger-Delta, the federal government has just seven days to answer us or all the gas plants in the region will be exploded,” he said.
Officials of the Delta Waterways Security Committee, DWSC, intervened in the matter, yesterday, to ensure that the ex-militants stopped the violence and pass their grievances to appropriate authorities.
Last week, civil society groups, activists and stakeholders met in Warri with a call on the Federal Government to cancel the ongoing third phase amnesty induction, as external forces had hijacked it.
In a statement issued at the end of the meeting, the coalition demanded that the committee in charge of the documentation of the third phase amnesty programme be called to order, saying,” Its actions are arbitrary and inimical for the well being of the Niger-Delta region.”