Militants claim they blew up Agip facility for alleged neglect

•Rivers youths lament spill, seek intervention

A new militant group in the Niger Delta region, known as Bayan-Men, has blown up an oil facility operated by Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC), in the Ogba-Egbema-Ndoni Local Council of Rivers State.

The group, which blew up the oil well, OB5, (Obiavu-5) operated by Agip in Omoku on Tuesday night, said their action followed the failure of the oil firm to deal directly with their communities.

The leader of Bayan-Men in Port Harcourt said on Sunday the oil company had refused to allow host communities benefit from their operations in the area, adding that the firm practised 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 compared to what we will do.”

Confirming the development, the Coordinator-General of Omoku Community Youth Leaders Forum, Ekeuku Pureheart, disclosed that the development was as a result of the failure by Agip to meet the demands of the people.

Pureheart noted that the matter required that Agip recognise various communities that makeup Omoku, adding that the boys were threatening to carry out more attacks if Agip does not do the right thing.

He said: “Federal Government intervened a long time ago. Now some uncontrollable boys and some militia groups 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 to 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 a drop in production. The government does not need any situation that will result in further drop in production.”

Meanwhile Agip Public Relations Officer, Etim Okpoyo, was yet to react to the development as calls and text messages sent to his telephone line were not replied at the time of filing this report.


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