From Paul Osuyi, Asaba and
Emmanuel Ogoigbe, Warri
UNDETERRED by the suspension of its Twitter handle, rampaging militant group, Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) has blown up two manifolds operated by the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) in Batan community, Warri South Local Government Area of Delta State.
The Twitter handle, @NDAvengers, was suspended on Monday morning by authorities of the micro-blogging platform.
Spokesman for the group, Mudoch Agbinibo, confirmed the suspension on a sister micro-blogging platform, Facebook but added that a new account would be launched soon to “continue the struggle.”
Besides, an oil well operated by Chevron Nigeria Limited at Makaraba village of Gbaramatu Kingdom identified as Chevron well 10 was separately attacked.
This is barely a week after the NDA destroyed five oil facilities in the region.
Several security sources confirmed to Daily Sun yesterday that the bombings took place between 10 and 11.20 p.m. on Monday night without any resistance from the military.
The source added that the militants were having a field day because of the scaling down of military operations in the kingdom, the homestead of ex-militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo alias Tompolo.
Claiming responsibility for the latest attacks, NDA in a statement signed by its spokesman, Mudoch Agbinibo, said: “Niger Delta Avengers blEw up NPDC Manifold close to Banta and two PPMC/NNPC crude oil trunk Lines.
Meanwhile, a week into the month of July, civil servants in Delta State are complaining of non-payment of their June salaries
The workers are anxious that salaries may not be forthcoming following sharp drop in federal allocation to the state as a result of the activities of militants.
A source privy to a meeting between the Permanent Secretary, Government House and heads of various departments said the state might not be able to pay salaries in the next three months if the situation was not addressed.
However, the source said the state would give priority to workers on grade level 01 to 12 with the meager allocation and the dwindling internally generated revenue.
According to the source, even the payment of the lower cadre of workers would be staggered depending on the amount of money available to the state.
“For now, the situation is so bleak, we have never had it this tough. They agreed to pay junior workers but it will be staggered depending on the money available to the state. It is after paying levels 01 to 12 before they will now turn to the senior category who will be paid subsequently from the money generated internally,” the source said.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, has, however, been criticized for “not deploying the appropriate tactics to draw the devastating militants to the negotiating table,” adding, “we are not hearing of oil wells being attacked in Rivers or Akwa-Ibom. Those people are enjoying their money.
“Let the state government engage these militants and speak the language they will understand so that this issue can be addressed. We had bombings during (James) Ibori and (Emmanuel) Uduaghan’s regime but the situation was brought under control.”
Meanwhile, condemnations have continued to trail activities of the militants group. A non-governmental organization, Centre for Peace and Environmental Justice (CEPEJ) in a statement signed by its coordinator, Sheriff Mulade, said the continued bombings of oil and gas facilities was ill-wind that does the region no good.