Fast-rising militant group, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM), has claimed responsibility for the Sunday morning inferno that occurred near Otu-Jeremi, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State.
The group insinuated in a statement on Monday, that the inferno resulted from its dastardly attack on the 42-inch delivery line operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) and ND Western at Otu-Jeremi.
The bombing, according to the saboteurs, was carried out at about 4:00a.m of November 27 as against local residents’ claim that the explosion they heard on Sunday took place around 6:40a.m.
Anxiety ensued on Sunday, when the clangorous bang from the explosion rocked communities around Ughelli axis of the state as fire gutted the pipeline and vegetation around the area.
Residents of Otu-Jeremi, as of Sunday, were of the general belief that militants were behind the sabotage.
The spot of the incident was adjudged some hundreds of metres away from the Otorogu Gas Plant, a multi-billion naira project.
But 24 hours after the explosion, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate, (NDGJM), in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Gen Aldo Agbalaja, said the group’s Akuma Strike Force Team carried out the attack.
The group has been launching series of attacks on oil and gas facilities in the upland parts of the state over grouse against the Federal Government.
In the statement titled: “NOT UHURU YET,” the hoodlums said: “in the last few weeks, we have been silent and observing.
“The period of silence was definitely not of inactivity; as a matter of fact, it was rather a strategy session, the fruits of which shall start showing up in the coming days!”
Meanwhile, chairman of Ughelli South Local Government Area, Mr Paul Etaga, who visited the scene of the attack with Lieutenant Colonel U Abdusalam, Commander, 222 Battalion, Agbarha-Otor, Ughelli North Local Government Area, on Sunday, confirmed the sabotage.
Etaga, however, decried the effects of the attendant inferno on several economic trees in the area.
“The incident led to fire outbreak. Meanwhile firefighters had restored the situation. We appeal to our youths and militants to desist from vandalising oil facilities.
“It only causes more harm to ourselves, please. Whoever that is responsible for the attack should stop,” Etaga said.