• Bush burning caused explosion -ODS
From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa and Ben Dunno, Warri
The Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM) has claimed responsibility for the bombing of the 42 inch delivery line operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC/ND Western in Otu-Jeremi, Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State.
The group in a statement signed by its spokesperson, General Aldo Agbalaja described the attack as a wake up call on the Federal Government and other perceived enemies of the region who are bent on using military might to suppress the struggle, to have a rethink as they have resolved not to relent in the ongoing struggle.
It observed that the security forces had embarked on series of operations like community invasions, indiscriminate arrest of innocent indigenes and outright occupation of some areas in a desperate effort to weaken them (militants) psychologically.
However, the group vowed to fight on to the last man alive.
It said though its activities had been kept on hold in the last few weeks, to re-examine certain developments in the region and re-strategise its mode of operations, the recent bombing marked its come back.
“In the last few weeks, we have been silent and observing. The period of silence was definitely not of inactivity; as a matter of fact, it was rather a strategy session, the fruits of which shall start showing up in the coming days.
“However, to register our presence and jolt those probably slipping into delusion back to reality, the Akuma Strike Force Team at about 0400hour today, November 27, brought down the 42 inch delivery line operated by NPDC/ND WESTERN in Otu-Jeremi.
“NDGJM has also observed the calculated psychological attack recently initiated by the Nigerian security forces against our people, believing that by pursuing and arresting our people, the struggle will be defeated and our resolve would be quelled.
“This will not work because what motivates us is stronger than the Nigerian kind of patriotism. Once again, we proclaim that we shall fight till the last man alive.
“It has also come to the attention of the high command of the NDGJM that some impostors have started a move to hoodwink the Federal Government into believing that they have what it takes to end this campaign that we have sworn to stay committed to.
“These conmen, grandstanding and parading themselves as the ‘lords of Warri’, have forgotten that this campaign goes beyond their purview or grasp.
“We advise the Federal Government to be wary of who they give attention to in the desperation to get the oil from our soil to flow unhindered. Be wary of these political jobbers, whose stock in trade has always been using the struggle to profiteer.
“We have severally indicated how to end this and definitely not through political jobbers and conflict merchants. If and when we have reasons to trust anybody to hold discussions with, we shall through this same medium, announce the process and the persons. This is a warning for the wise,” the group said a statement.
Meanwhile, Operation Delta Safe (ODS) has dismissed NDGJM claim that it was responsible for the pipeline explosion at Otu- Jeremi, Ughelli at the weekend.
According to the Deputy Coordinator of the Joint Media Campaign Centre (JMCC), Lt. Com. Thomas Otuji, the pipeline explosion operated by NPDC was triggered by a bush burning incident in the area.
Otuji urged the public to ignore statements on the pipeline attributed to the militant group.
“It was a case of bush burning that ignited an old pipeline. There were no attacks on the pipeline,” he said.
Militant groups in the region had stepped up attacks on oil facilities in spite of on-going peace talks between the Federal Government and the Niger Delta people, led by the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) headed by Chief Edwin Clark.
Recently King Alfred Diete-Spiff, who leads the Niger Delta contact group said it would take a while for the bombings to stop.
Diete-Spiff, who likened the bombings to a raging fire that was put off but took a while to go off completely, said Niger Delta stakeholders were working round the clock to bring a permanent peace to the region.