The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mallam Mele Kyari, has disclosed that some NNPC officials, working in collaboration with some members of the security agencies, connive with pipeline vandals to sabotage the country.
The NNPC boss equally indicted communities along the pipeline corridor of being perpetrators of this unwholesome act also.
Kyari stated this yesterday while on an on-the- spot assessment of the pipeline inferno that took place on Sunday at Oke-Odo, Abule Egba area of Lagos.
Pipeline vandals had last December also struck at the Baruwa area in Ipaja Lagos, leaving several people dead and properties worth several millions of naira destroyed in a fire outbreak that followed their nefarious act. The act follows a similar one which had earlier occurred at the Ijegun area in Alimosho Local Council area of Lagos last July 4.
Kyari, while confirming the death of five persons and the destruction of several houses, decried the attitude of those living along the pipeline corridor who fail to raise the alarm by calling the attention of security whenever they notice acts of vandalisation.
The oil chief, while condemning the act of the vandals, warned that the corporation would leave no stone unturned to ensure that any official of the NNPC found to be involved in the act of this economic sabotage would be shown the way out and prosecuted to serve as a deterrent to others.
He disclosed that the NNPC was working closely with all the security agencies, including the Army, Navy, Police and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps(NSCDC) to ensure that the pipelines right of way remains safe for product evacuation and safety of lives and properties.
‘‘Let me use this opportunity to sound a note of warning to NNPC officials who are involved in this act of sabotage that anyone caught will be deleted from the system.
He warned property owners, especially those along the NNPC Right of Way (RoW) that following an agreement it reached with the Lagos and Ogun State governments, any property indentified or linked to petroleum product will be brought down.
He said NNPC in conjunction with the Navy has been able to bring down over 300 houses impeding its RoW, saying the exercise is an ongoing one aimed at bringing sanity along the pipeline corridor.
He admonished community leaders within the NNPC RoW to see the protection of critical national assets as a joint responsibility which should not be left in the hands of government alone.
Having shut down to contain the fire through the support of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency and the Lagos Fire Service, Kyari said the pipeline is now fully restored.
‘‘We are now back on stream. Petroleum products are flowing all the way from Atlas Cove to Mosimi all the way to Ilorin depot.We enjoin everyone to work with us in sustaining this.
We therefore need the support of every member of the community to expose the bag eggs in their midst. We are counting on Nigerians to help us resolve this as it is becoming a matter of national security concern.
We are working with security agencies to cointain this situation which portends danger for all of us. Nigerians must know that these acts of vandals are happening within communities and if they are allowed to continue, then they will eventually kill all of us,’’ he warned.