Mkpoikana Udoma 22 May 2014, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – The National Union of Petrol and Natural Workers, NUPENG, has dismissed claims by Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND, that it was responsible for last Sunday’s explosion at NNPC jetty in Okrika, Rivers state.
NUPENG’s National President, Comrade Igwe Achese in an interview with newsmen in Abuja said the claim by MEND was politically motivated while IYC spokesperson, Mr. Eric Omare expressed doubts about MEND’s claim as he addressed newsmen in Yenegoa.
Mr. Achese who put the number of deaths at the incident at 50, said majority of the victims were pipeline vandals caught up in the explosion while trying to steal petroleum products.
Achese describes MEND as a faceless organisation whose aim is to hit up the polity in Rivers State and also to destabilise peace in Okrika.
On his part, IYC spokesperson, Mr. Omare, said in Yenegoa that the claims by MEND was false and misleading.
“The explosion was not caused by MEND, it was caused by oil pipeline vandals. Before now, we have given a presentation calling on Mr. President to review the pipeline surveillance in the Niger Delta to solve the problem of oil theft, the people at Abuja are in oil theft, they are just using the Niger Delta youths as errand boys. We are totally against oil theft and we want the Federal Government to take drastic steps (against it),” Omare said.