17 June 2016, Yenagoa – The troops of the Joint Force in the Niger Delta, Operation Pulo Shield, have foiled an attempt by suspected vandals to destroy a pipeline belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company in Okpoama community of Bayelsa State.
The Coordinator, Joint Media Campaign Centre, OPS, Col. Ado Isa, who made this known in a statement on Friday, said the suspected vandals had dug and deployed dynamites beneath the pipeline location in a swamp for detonation before the troops discovered it.
He said the items recovered from the scene were two dynamite detonators, cable wire and battery.
The OPS spokesman also said the troops of the Joint Force deployed in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa, conducted anti-illegal oil bunkering patrol and cordon-and-search operation along Ebelebiri and Agba communities.
Isa said during the operation, six suspected pipeline vandals were arrested along with eight Cotonou boats loaded with illegally acquired crude oil.
He said the sites and the recovered items were destroyed immediately while the suspects were handed over to the prosecuting agency.
Isa said, “On same day, OPS troops, in continuation of its raid on suspected pipeline vandals’ camps carried out cordon-and-search operation in Oporoma Community of Delta State.
“Ten suspected pipeline vandals were arrested during the operation and the following items were recovered from them: one pistol, 195 rounds of 7.62mm special ammunition, 14 handheld radio sets, diving equipment, personal computer, IPAD, 30 detonating codes and several cell phones with SIM cards belonging to telecoms companies, among others.”
The spokesman further said maritime component of the joint force and the Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS Delta) on June 14 arrested three suspected coordinators of several pipeline bombings across the region.
He said one of the arrested suspects, John Oboka, aka Jamaica, confessed to being part of the group that bombed the Nigerian Petroleum Developing Company crude oil pipeline at Escravos, in Warri South-West LGA of Delta State, saying several bombing equipment were recovered from the bombers.
He assured the people of the region of the OPS commitment and determination to rid the Niger Delta of the activities of hoodlums in any guise.
Isa said the joint force would continue to clamp down on fleeing criminals including pipeline vandals and intensify efforts to dismantle all militant camps in the region.
He warned those behind the bombing of critical installations in the region to have a rethink and toe the line of peace by adopting a legitimate means to address their grievances instead of taking the law into their hands.