Angry Militants Pound Oil Installations As Soldiers Invade Gbaramatu

militantNiger Delta militants armed with General Purpose Machine-guns (GPMG) in several boats have resumed bombing of oil installations in the oil rich region, reports say.

Militants in Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State were said to have attacked and blew up the Abiteye flow station and Sagara to Chevron pipelines in the region.

As a result, residents are trapped in the communities.

“Some of us are already trapped in our communities because of the bombings, the target for now may be Chevron facilities,” a worried riverside told Vanguard.

“The gas pipeline, which runs from Olero creeks to Escravos were destroyed in the latest attack. Several crude lines were sabotaged while Makaraba, Otunana (Uton-Nana), Abiteye and Dibi flow stations were bombed,” another source said.

No group has so far claimed responsibility for the renewed attacks. However, residents of the riverside communities told The Street Reporters that the militants paraded more sophistication weapons than those used in previous crises.

“The pipeline, which conveys gas from Saghara to Chevron, was also destroyed and there are several persons trapped in the communities.

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“The kind of explosives and bombs they used are not like those of before; the effects were felt in several communities as they went off intermittently.”

Meanwhile, soldiers have stormed Okpelama community, Gbaramatu kingdom, in the Warri South-West Local Government Area, Delta State, in search of militants, who commenced the bombing of crude oil and gas pipelines in state.

This came few hours after a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos issued a bench warrant for the arrest of ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, last Thursday.

It was gathered that the soldiers were also keeping surveillance on Kurutie, the hometown of Tompolo and Oporoza, the traditional headquarters of Gbaramatu kingdom.

Tompolo, however, has continued to plead his innocence in the attacks, saying he did not carry out any bombing and did not urged anybody to destroy oil installations on his behalf, insisting that his enemies sponsored the mayhem to spite him.

A source at the community told Vanguard that the soldiers, who stormed the community with gunboats at about 10.45 pm on Saturday broke into homes of the villagers, many of whom scampered into the bush on sighting them as they alighted at the jetty front.

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His words, “We have all relocated to the forest for safety; We saw them (soldiers) breaking into houses, probably in search of arms and those responsible for the attacks on the pipeline facilities a few days ago.”

He said some members of the community were still in the bush at about 7.30 am Sunday morning.
Chairman of the community, who later spoke to Vanguard on phone, corroborated the invasion, saying that the people were surprised that soldiers invaded the town, as they had nothing to do with the ongoing attacks by militants.

He disclosed that soldiers did not contact leaders of the community on the reason for their invasion, adding, “At the moment, my community is practically a ghost town, the people are running away to Warri and other places.”

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According to a security source, “There is information that some of the boys sponsored to carry out the attacks are from Okpelama, which is why soldiers went to the community in search of them.”

Okpelama community leader told reporters that after Saturday night’s raid, the soldiers came back again on Sunday morning to the community’s waterfront, but was yet to enter inside.

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