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48 hrs after repairs, militants blow up Trans-Forcados export trunkline

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 1.30 a.m. on Tuesday, at Batan community, Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta State.

The affected trunkline, which was earlier 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.”

No militant group or individual has, so far, claimed responsibility for the act.

Local sources, however, said the area had 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.

Spokesman of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Lieutenant-Colonel Daudu, confirmed the attack.

According to him, “Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE located at Sector 1, in Delta State, while on routine patrol, heard an explosive sound caused by suspected economic saboteurs at Batan Flow Station around Ekweregbene, Batan general area.

“The incident is, however, being investigated and details will be made available as events unfold.”

Authorities of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS DELTA) could not be reached for further confirmation as of the time of filing this report.