Just 12 hours to the commencement of the meeting between President Muhammadu Buhari and the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) in Abuja on Tuesday, suspected militants blew up the Trans-Forcados Export trunkline in Delta.
Nigerian Tribune gathered on Wednesday that the sabotage was carried out at about 1:30a.m on Tuesday at Batan community in Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.
The affected trunkline, which was ealier blown up by militants few months ago and was recently fixed, as gathered from a local source, usually received products from the Batan flow station and supplied the Forcados Terminal line for export.
The flow station, acclaimed as one of the biggest in Niger Delta region, is said to be operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), formerly owned by Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC).
A senior security personnel told journalists on condition of anonymity that the Batan flow station was attacked with dynamites.
According to him, “the attack was carried out with the aid of dynamites and it is coming less than 48 hours after the resumption of operations at the flow station.”
Chairman of Batan community, Dickson Ogugu, who confirmed the incident, said, “a surveillance team made up of officials from PPMC, NPDC and Batern community were able to identify the spot of the attack.
According to him, “I would like to use this opportunity to appeal to locals from the community to avail any relevant information to the security agencies in stemming this ugly trend because as am talking to you, the entire river is flooded with contents from the damaged trunkline and we are at the receiving end.”
No militant group or individual has, so far, claimed responsibility for the heinous act, but effort is being made by security operatives to unravel the brain behind it.
Local sources, however, said the area has been cordoned off by security agents as workers of the company have been evacuated from the area.
Meanwhile an Ijaw leader, Comrade Sheriff Mulade, has condemned the act, describing it as an unpardonable offence.
“It is shocking that this evil act is being perpetrated few hours after President Muhammadu Buhari held a peace meeting with leaders of the Niger Delta region.
“This is not part of the Niger Delta struggle for emancipation. Buhari means well for the people of the region and should be given the chance to actualize that peace process,” Mulade who is also the chairman of Kokodiagbene community in Gbaramatu Kingdom, noted.
Comrade Mulade enjoined community leaders and peace lovers to join hands to expose the perpetrators of the evil act.
“No sinner must go unpunished, perpetrators of this shameful and evil acts of retrogression must be made to face the law and pay for their sin,” he retorted.
Authorities of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS DELTA) could not be reached for further confirmation as of the time of filing this report.