Mkpoikana Udoma 10 February 2016, Sweetcrude, Port Harcourt – Suspected cultists have blown up a gas facility belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company, NAOC, in Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Assistant Director, Army Public Relations of 2 Brigade Port Harcourt, Captain Eli Lazarus, who confirmed the incident in a statement said the vandals carried out the destruction in demand for the release of its member who is in custody of the Army.
The army who accused politicians of arming criminals as a warm-up for the re-run elections in the state, reiterated that the army will not subject itself to be frightened into submitting to the demands of any criminal gang.
Captain Lazarus in the statement also called on the public to assist the army with relevant information to fish out criminals and pipeline vandals in the society.
“In the early hours of Sunday 7 February 2016, pipeline vandals destroyed a gas facility in Akala Olu village in Oshie community, Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State thereby disrupting the production activities of Nigeria Agip Oil Company. The vandals threatened to carry out further acts of vandalism unless their demands are met.
“The vandals are suspected members of Icelander cult group. The group demanded for the release of a detained suspect-one Mr. Emmanuel Odum currently undergoing interrogation in connection with pipeline vandalism and cult related activities.
“I wish to state it categorically that 2 Brigade will not be cowed into doing the bidding of any criminal group. For the avoidance of doubt, anyone caught vandalising critical national asset will be severely dealt with in accordance with the law.
“Additionally, it is now known that some politicians are arming these groups and encouraging them with inciting comments to breach public peace. No one should be in doubt of the capacity of the military to deal decisively with such persons. If anyone is caught breaching public peace particularly during the forth coming elections, such person/persons should have themselves to blame. Already, some suspected patrons and sponsors of these criminals groups are being closely monitored by security agencies.
“Parents and guardians are therefore strongly advised to warn their children/wards against any form of association with such criminal groups/sponsors otherwise the full wrath of the law would be meted to them. The public is hereby assured that no effort will be spared in arresting and prosecuting oil pipelines vandals and criminals. Any relevant information that can assist the Brigade in arresting such criminals could be passed using the following numbers: 09056042841, 07039037833 and 07013469203,” the statement said.