07 June 2016, Warri – Nigerian Navy said it has recorded a major feat in the ongoing military onslaught against Niger Delta militants and pipeline vandals, with the arrest of a militant kingpin who is best described as the coordinator of recent attacks on NNPC and Chevron oil facilities in the region.
Briefing journalists while parading the suspects at the Naval Base Warri on Tuesday, Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship (NNS) Delta, Commodore Riami Muhammed, said his men also arrested another militant leader who spearheaded last week’s attack on Shell Petroleum Development Company’s 48inch crude pipeline in Forcados.
It was gathered that the militants’ coordinator, whose name was not disclosed for security reasons, also illegally operates about 35 abandoned oil well heads and crude oil pipelines in Okpoko and Obodo creeks in Warri South West Local Government Area of the state.
Commodore Mohammed said the suspects were arrested in collaboration with other security agencies, saying that the arrest was capable of reducing or ending attacks by the rampaging militants.
The elated NNS Delta boss said, “Today, I’m pleased to announce that after several weeks of persistent efforts, the Nigerian navy in collaboration with other security agencies has arrested the main coordinator of the attacks on the NNPC and Chevron oil and gas facilities that we have witnessed since May 4, 2016, with the attack on Chevron Okan Valve platform offshore Escravos.
“You are aware of the recent series of attacks on oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta and in Delta State for which some groups/persons have claimed responsibilities. The Nigerian Navy and other security agencies have been doing their best to curtail these attacks.”
He noted that his men were not just after members of the Niger Delta Avengers but everyone suspected to be responsible for the recent attacks on oil facilities in the region.
Mohammed said, “It’s important to mention that the suspect is also deeply involved in pipeline vandalism and stealing crude oil. He steals crude oil from about 35 abandoned oil well heads. The Nigerian Navy believes with the arrest of this suspect, the attacks on Chevron/NNPC facilities will abate.”
On the arrest of the suspect behind last week attack on 48-inch Forcados crude line, Mohammed said “He has provided useful information that will assist NNS Delta to arrest other culprits.”
While commending the Delta State government for her support, he warned criminal elements in the Niger Delta to desist as Nigerian military were very committed towards flushing out their activities from the region.
Two of the suspected militant’s kingpins were shaded from journalists for security reasons while several tools and ammunition used for the attacks were displayed.