Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
An oil pipeline surveillance company, Darlon Security and Guards Limited (DSGL), operating in Bayelsa State has denied allegations that its staff allegedly killed some Bayelsa youths in Korokorosei community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.
A group, Youths for Safer Environment, a sociocultural pressure group, had recently claimed in a statement by its coordinator, Mr Fred Ilorifa, that staff of DSGL killed the victims on the suspicion that they vandalised pipeline belonging to Nigerian Agip Oil Company.
However, a media consultant to DSGL, Mr Gift Ebiki, in a statement made available to Daily Sun described the allegations as “unfounded, mischievous and politically motivated.”
According to Ebiki, the DSGL is a company wholly responsible for safeguarding oil pipelines and not an arm-bearing company.
Ebiki, who said preliminary investigations by the company indicated no staff or operative of the Joint Task Force invaded Korokorosei on the said date the youths were killed, challenged Ilorifa to make details of the killings available to law enforcement agencies for their investigations.
The statement read in part:
“We earlier made it categorically clear that Darlon security and guards are not armed with any weapons to attack anybody. Our operations are basically to safeguard oil and gas facilities, mostly pipelines that belong to the Nigerian Agip oil company limited. The extent of operations to check vandals and to keep criminals at bay on pipelines is the sole responsibility of the Nigerian Civil Defence and the Nigerian military guarded by the joint task force initiated by the Federal Government of Nigeria. From records available before the public, no staff of Darlon security and guards limited or any member of the joint task force have invaded Korokorosei town on the 5th of September 2019.
“We are, therefore, asking the so-called President of the Youths for Safer Environment to bring the details of such killings to the Nigeria police and other security agencies in Bayelsa for thorough investigations. We are also calling on the president and the complainants to retrieve the said publication or make an unreserved apology to the management of Darlon security and guards limited in all the national papers within fourteen days of this response. Without that, we may have no choice than to institute legal actions against these characters that have been politically sponsored to blackmail the highly cherished reputations achieved by Darlon security and guards limited in the past years of its operations in the oil and gas industry.”