Avengers strike again, bomb 5 oil pipelines

Just as Nigerians thought peace was gradually returning to the Niger Delta region, members of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), at 1:15a.m, on Sunday, resumed onslaught on the nation’s oil economy, blowing up Chevron’s two major oil well 7 and 8 close to Abiteye flow station in Delta State.

The group also reported through its Tweeter handle late Saturday at 11:26p.m that its strike team had successfully blown up two major crude oil trunklines belonging to the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) close to Batan flow station in the oil-rich state.

This was just as at about 11:30p,m on Saturday, the avengers also tweeted that it blew up the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Crude Oil Trunk Line to Warri Refinery at 9:15p.m, on Friday.

All the operations, the group boasted, were carried out by its strike team whom it commended for a job well done in another tweet.

“At 9:15p.m, on Friday, the @NDAvengers blow up Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Crude Oil Trunk Line to Warri Refinery,” the group, which has claimed responsibility for previous pipelines bombings, tweeted.

Continuing, the group tweeted thus: “At 11:26pm on Saturday @NDAvengers blow up two NPDC major crude trunk lines close to Batan flowstation in Delta state.

“At 1:15a.m, on Sunday @NDAvengers blow up two major Chevron Oil Wells. WELL 7 and WELL 8 close to Abiteye flow station in Delta state.

“All  five operations were carried out by @NDAvengers Strike team. Well done soldiers,”  it concluded.

The group, however, did not give further details of the sabotages, five of several already accomplished this year alone which have nearly crippled the country’s revenue base.

Meanwhile, the destructions were confirmed by a senior security agent, who declined being identified in print.

According to him, the bombing at Abiteye flow station was devastating, as it was deafening.

An official of NPDC told the Nigerian Tribune, on Sunday, that no official report had been filed in to the headquarters concerning the bombed facility.

Further confirmation could not be got from the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS DELTA), as well as the Joint Task Force (JTF).

In another development, a senior security officer, on Sunday, confirmed the Sunday morning simultaneous explosions in Warri.

He said he suspected, after early investigations, the use of dynamite to blow up the oil facilities.

Meanwhile, secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC),  Comrade Eric Omare, also confirmed the attack on the NNPC pipeline on Friday.

He said local fishermen confirmed the explosions.

The Friday and Sunday attacks were seen to have rubbished the  peace talks being initiated by the  Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu, who was allegedly reaching out to the avengers in the creeks.

The avengers, had, however, denied any peace talks with any government functionary tweeting on June 21 that “the NDA high command never remembers having any agreement on ceasefire with the Nigeria government.”

They also denied vehemently any representation at any peace talks being bandied around by alleged All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwarts in the state, tagging them “criminals and political thugs and jobbers.”

The group, besides its demands for political emancipation and resource control for the region, requested President Muhammadu Buhari to personally visit the region and see things for himself, as well as conduct a referendum among all ethnic nationalities in the country to ascertain whether the country should remain together or not.

Buhari, instead of reacting to these requests, rather went ahead to appeal to the Avengers in the name of God to stop the economic sabotage.

Within the period of the ceasefire initiated by the Federal Government, sabotage on the oil facilities abated at least on the part of the Avengers, while illegal oil refinery assailed unperturbed in the deep creeks.

The Friday and Sunday attacks on oil installations have shown that the demands of the dreaded group might not after all be a fluke, as more devastations were being meted out on the nation’s depleting economy.

In a related development and in continuation of checkmating criminal activities of the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA), as well as their allied groups, operatives of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS DELTA), Warri Naval Base, Warri, Delta State, late Saturday, uncovered a vandalised crude oil well head and an expanse of illegal refinery in the creeks of Warri.