Palpable tension and fears have enveloped the Egbemoru community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State as gunmen, suspected to be former militants, set pipelines belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) on fire.
It was learnt that the development was due to an alleged supremacy battle between some armed men over control and influence of the surveillance contracts being handled by a certain security company in the area.
It was also learnt that the attack on Agip Trunk A pipelines route had led to the shutting down of other oil platforms along Ogbeinbiri and other areas to avoid fire outbreak and destruction of the crude oil supply route in the axis.
The suspected ex-militants, reportedly led by one self-styled ‘General’ Endurance, who is alleged to be a involved in illegal oil bunkering activities, are said to be involved in the supremacy battle against another former militant leader in Peremabiri community.
They are said to be out to dominate and take over oil pipelines security surveillance jobs in the area.
It was gathered that members of the Egbematoru community had reached out to the Joint Military Task Force, codenamed Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), to report the activities of the gunmen and were awaiting the deployment of troops.
Efforts to get the spokesman for the JTF, Major Victor Odukoya, to confirm the incident, were unsuccessful as his mobile phone failed to connect several times. (The Nation)