25 February 2016, Warri – The Nigerian Riverine Security (Coast Guard of the Federation), Warri, Delta State and the Oodua Peoples Congress, OPC, based in the South-West region, have teamed up to check the activities of pipeline vandals, sea pirates and oil thieves in the coastal areas of the country.
Commandant-General of Riverine Security, Coast Guard of the Federation, Bibi Oduku, who spoke after a meeting of the group and OPC leaders, said both groups will collaborate with the Joint Task Force, JTF, in the Niger Delta to root out criminals destroying oil facilities and terrorizing people on the waterways.
Meanwhile, Ijaw Peoples Development Initiative, IPDI, Delta State, has called on the Federal Government to carry out an independent Joint Investigation Visit, JIV, to ascertain the real cause of the recent crude oil leak from the Forcados Terminal pipeline, a facility of Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, in Burutu Local Government Area of the state.
A militant group, Niger Delta Avengers, had claimed responsibility for blowing up the pipeline and served notice of attacks on more oil installations in the region if the Federal Government did not address its grievances.
IPDI, in a statement by its National President, Austin Ozobo, attributed the leakage to system failure, absolving militants from the incident, stressing that the Federal Government should not rely on hearsay to know who to hold responsible.
He said: “Shell’s pipelines in the Atlantic Ocean are overdue for replacement as they are now malfunctioning due to the long time they have been in use.Claims of sabotage coming from any quarter should be disregarded.
“We condemn Shell’s assumption that saboteurs caused the leakage. This is the injustice we are talking about and Shell knows full well that it was not sabotage, but it kept mute over it to evade paying compensation to impacted communities.”