The Senator representing Delta North Senatorial District and Senate Committee Chairman on Niger Delta has condemned the recent attack on a Chevron facility in Delta State, describing the act as, “Barbaric, Selfish, unwarranted and Senseless”, even as he added that such acts were not only inimical to the collective progress of the Region but, criminal as well.
Senator Nwaoboshi, who made this disclosure in an exclusive Press State issued in reaction to the Chevron attack, equally used the opportunity to advise the Niger Delta Youths to shun criminal and violent activities and embrace dialogue as a means to collectively pursue any goals and settle any differences and disagreements.
He stated that the action of these unknown attackers goes to show that onshore oil facilities have borne the brunt of the problems, spurring big companies like Chevron and Shell to reduce their land-bound installations in the area in favor of more-secure offshore projects.
According to Senator Nwaoboshi, “Wednesday’s attack at Okan, a joint venture with Nigeria’s state oil company in shallow waters, shows that offshore facilities are also vulnerable. As a result of the explosion, the platform’s ability to pump and store oil was “severely degraded.”
The Senator further stated that he will, together with his committee, visit the installations for a one on one assessment of the damage and urged all to remain Law abiding and committed for a more robust and developed Niger Delta region and Nigeria at large.
Recall that some unidentified attackers recently struck the Chevron Corp. platform, off the Nigerian coast, causing an oil spill and forcing the company to shut down the facility.
Chevron has already confirmed that no one was hurt in the assault, while a spokesman for the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta, N.B Lamu said the attackers used dynamite to damage the Okan platform, adding that a verification team has been dispatched to the affected off-shore area.
A group calling itself the Niger Delta Avengers, a nascent militia group, claimed responsibility on its website. The Avengers further added that they want locals to have more control over the region’s oil resources and revenue.
A statement by the group’s spokesman, Mudoch Agbinibo, however, placed blame for the attack on footstep of ex-militant leader and senior Ijaw traditional chief, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, better known as Tompolo.
The statement also warned politicians, traditional rulers and other influential individuals in the oil-rich region to stop their meddlesome activities and selfish politicking aimed at putting them in the good books of the Federal Government.
According to the statement, “This is a clear warning to the all Niger Delta politicians, traditional rulers, community leaders, and the likes of Tompolo to mind their business and leave the liberation of the Niger Delta people to the Avengers; those who believe taking sides with (the) federal government to fight Niger Deltans is the best option.
“Avengers are here on ground, neither you nor the federal government can stop us. If you don’t steer clear and let us carry out our activities, we will bring the fight to your individual doorsteps. Our major goal is to cripple the Nigerian economy.
“We are using this medium to ask all Niger Deltans to take the war to all oil installations in their various communities because this is your war,” the statement concluded.
Nigeria’s rich oil fields have a long history of violence and pollution, with oil thieves and industry protesters regularly puncturing pipelines and blowing up installations.
The Okan incident is the recent in a series of the recurring Pipeline vandalization activities by suspected militants in the Niger Delta region.