National News

Tension in Niger Delta as new militant group blows up Agip facility

A new militant group in the Niger Delta region code-named Bayan-Men has blown up an oil facility operated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, (NAOC) in Ogba-Egbema-Andoni Local Government Area, Rivers State.

The angry militants, who destroyed oil well, OB5, (Obiavu-5) in the area, accused the oil firm of failing to deal directly with the host communities insisting that they were fighting for justice for their people.

The Commander of the Bayan-Men said the company refused to allow the people to benefit from their operations in the area, adding that the firm was neck-deep in divide and rule.

He said: “The only thing we want Agip to do is to deal directly with the 27 communities of Omoku, according to the Federal Government resolution.

“We don’t want Agip to be negotiating with anybody. They should deal with the communities. If they continue like this, what we have done now is small to what we will do if they continue. They should keep us together and treat us as one. They should treat communities individually.

“We are not joking. We are not interested in killing anybody. Our interest is that they must do the right thing else we will keep blowing up their facilities. We are giving them 24 hours to start the process of doing the right thing.”

Confirming the development, the Coordinator-General, Omoku Community Youth Leaders Forum (OCYLF), Ekeuku Pureheart, said that the development came from Agip’s failures to obey the demands of the people.

Pureheart said Agip should recognise the various communities that make up Omoku, as “the boys” were threatening to carry out more attacks.

Pureheart said: “Federal Government intervened a long time ago. Now some uncontrollable boys and some militia group have blown up Agip oil well, OB5. Obiavu-5 is the name of the oil well.

“The boys are still threatening that if Agip does not engage directly with the communities of Omoku and give them what is due them that they will do more.

“We are calling on the Federal Government and other relevant agencies to intervene before things get out of hand. This may cause drop in production. The government does not need any situation that will result to further drop in production to occur.

“The group is saying enough is enough. Agip is working with few individuals in Omoku to oppress the people and the boys are saying they will no longer take that.”

He noted that Agip was still struggling to put out the ravaging fire on the facility.
Pureheart: “Agip is already there trying to bring down the flame. They are there with fire fighters to bring the fire under control.

“The group is saying that Agip should deal with individual communities; that is what the law provides. Omoku is a cluster of communities. And the law says when you reach any land treat them differently and give them what is due them.

“They should adhere to FG resolution of February 27th, 2021, and that agreement must be implemented in line with the Petroleum Industry Act. We are urging the FG to stop up to ensure that the agreement is implemented in full.”

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