Avengers threaten ExxonMobil staff, warn against repair of pipeline

•As MEND gives conditions for dialogue

THE Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) has warned the management of the international oil company, ExxonMobil, against repairing the Que Iboe 48-inch pipeline it blew recently, threatening to attack personnel of the company if the warning is not heeded.

In a statement posted on its website on Saturday and signed by its spokeperson, ‘Brigadier General’ Mudoch Agbinibo, the group urged ExxonMobil to tread the path of safety and own up that the group destroyed the pipeline rather than blaming it on “system anomaly” and deceiving its overseas trading partners.

The group said the level of damage it did to the facility would make repair to take months to achieve, contrary to the assurance from ExxonMobil to its trading partners that the repair would take three to four weeks.

It stressed that something worse that declaring a force majeure would happen to the company if it refused to follow the path laid out by it.

“When we published that the Que Iboe 48-inches crude oil export line was blown by us (Niger Delta Avengers), ExxonMobil denied it. But now, ExxonMobil has admitted that the 48” pipeline which we blew up is ‘System Anomaly.’

“We are urging them to follow the path of safety by admitting it was blown, but them (ExxonMobil) not admitting it to their traders/international refineries is none of our business.

“It will become our business when ExxonMobil carries out repair work on the blown pipeline.  When that time comes, it won’t be ExxonMobil declaring a force majeure but it’s going to be something worse.

“ExxonMobil and Akwa Ibom government can deny Niger Delta Avengers is not in Akwa Ibom State but we want them to know one of our elite strike team is based in Akwa Ibom.

“We are warning Exxonmobil not to carry out any repair work on the blown pipeline. If they refuse and go ahead with any repair work something big and worst will happen.

“What happened to Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) crude oil export pipeline in Forcados is an example to all international oil companies, no repair works until the Federal Government heeds our demands,” the statement said.

Meanwhile, Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has declared that it will accept members and groups into its proposed dialogue team if they are willing to agree to its terms and conditions.

The group stated this in a statement made available to Sunday Tribune, on Saturday, claiming that it was, on Friday, contacted by the immediate past Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Power, Dr Godknows Igali, on the modalities for the proposed dialogue with the Federal Government on the renewed militancy in the Niger Delta.

According to the statement signed by MEND’s spokesman, Jomo Gbomo, Igali, also a diplomat and former Secretary to the Bayelsa State government, contacted MEND as an emissary of King Alfred Diette-Spiff, the Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass in Bayelsa State and leader of the Niger Delta Dialogue and Contact Group (NDDCG).

Contrary to the denial in the media by Mr Odein Ajumogobia, the group insisted that the former ambassador remained the leader of the peace initiative move.

MEND said having carefully considered and approved the NDDCG proposal to join the Aaron Team, it was calling on other stakeholders in the peace process to channel their grievances, demands and suggestions through the NDDCG.

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