PipelineThe Joint Task Force (JTF) has vowed to fish out the persons responsible for the multiple armed attacks on strategic oil and gas pipelines in Delta State.

The Commander of the JTF, Major-General Alani Gafar Okunola, made the declaration when he led a team of military officers and men to some of the sites of the destruction over the weekend.

Speaking at the site of the destroyed Egwa 1 in Warri South-West, council area of Delta State, Gen. Okunlola described the recent resurgence of militant activities as unacceptable, vowing that those behind it would be brought to book. He stressed that federal government would hold leaders of the communities where acts of sabotage on oil installations take place responsible.

According to him, it’s unacceptable that Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) were used to bomb pipelines owned by the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) and the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

“The pipeline was blown up three days ago. We are going to fish out those responsible. It is a national sabotage and critical asset. There is no way we can fold our arms and allow the perpetrators to get away with it,” he said.

The Navy has also declared that it had contained the activities of armed militants who attacked strategic oil and gas facilities in parts of riverine Delta State.

Commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta, Commodore Raimi Mohammed, said measures to ensure safety in the waterways and security of lives and properties had been put in place.

According to the naval commander, security forces had mounted a response operation, which had stalled further destruction of oil and gas pipelines within the creeks.

He warned those behind the destructive activities in Warri South-West council area of Delta State and other locations, saying those caught would be made to face the law.

“We have been on it, trying to make sure that we contain it; at least last night (Saturday night/early Sunday) we had peace and we want to maintain that momentum. No place was blown up last night. We have actually blocked all the places they come out from, which they move through, they can’t come out at night and we hope to keep it that way.

“Those behind these attacks should know that it’s not in the interest of the communities where they are from or in the interest of the nation, they have to be very careful. Anybody caught will face the full weight of the law”, he said.

On whether the security forces had managed to contain the attackers effectively, he said “no one can give you such blanket assurance, we are just doing our best and making sure that it doesn’t happen again”.

By Olisemeka Obeche

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