15 January 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has called on Nigerians, especially those living in communities close to pipelines, to see them as their own and protect them.
The call was contained in a statement issued on in Abuja by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Department, Mr. Ohi Alegbe, after the flag-off of a two-day Anti-Pipeline Vandalism Campaign in Idimu, Alimosho Local Government Area, Lagos State.
The Corporation called on residents to be vigilant and report all suspicious movements around the pipeline to the corporation or security agencies.
NNPC explained that the oil that was spilled into the environment when vandals and oil thieves hacked into pipelines “destroys aquatic life, pollutes the ground water and renders water from boreholes unsafe for consumption.”
“Once contaminated, it makes the soil unfit to support any meaningful agricultural activity; and ultimately reduces the quality of life of the people living around such places,” the statement added.
According to the statement, the campaign was organised to sensitise the host communities on the need to join in the war against pipeline vandalism.
The campaign included a roadshow, through the communities adjoining the pipeline right of way in the area, up to the Ejigbo Depot and the major pipeline vandalism flashpoints of Ijeododo and Arepo.
It further noted that the traditional ruler of Idimuland, Oba Azeez Olugoke II, called on all residents of the community to shun criminal activities, especially oil theft and pipeline vandalism.
The traditional ruler said that as a policy, the community would not protect anyone caught perpetrating such acts.
The Oba promised to take the message to the people and help mobilise the community to help tackle pipeline vandalism.