12 November 2017, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Petroleum & Natural Gas Senior Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, has condemned attacks on national assets by militants in the Niger Delta.
The association’s stand as regards security of oil and gas pipelines in the country was made in a communique issued at the end of its National Executive Council, NEC meeting, obtained by SweetcrudeReports.
According to the council, the continuous attacks on assets such as pipelines and other oil and gas installations in the country had caused lots of “incalculable” damages to national and industry’s revenue.
As a result, the council urged the Federal Government, to provide more security than what currently exists, to put an end to the incessant attacks.
“The NEC-in-Session, therefore, demand strong security strategies and use of modern equipment to end unnecessary attacks and damaging of national assets,” it demanded.
It would be recalled that just a few weeks ago, the Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, threated to renew attacks on oil and gas pipelines in the Delta after a long period of ceasefire.
According to the militant group, the Federal Government had failed to live up to its promises to the people of the region.
In a statement signed by its spokesperson, Mudoch Agbinibo on November 3, the NDA said all its operatives across the country have been counted and were ready to carry out directives from its high command in the coming days.
NDA’s threat to take up arms again was also backed by a joint body of Niger Delta militants under the umbrella of Coalition of Niger Delta Militants.
On Saturday, November 4, leader of the group, John Duku, had claimed that the government did not ‘have the interest of the Niger Delta at heart’.
According to them, they were ready to resume their operation show-no-mercy that involves attacking oil installations in the oil-rich south-south region.
“All the militant groups in the Niger Delta met today (Saturday) and we have issued a directive that we should go back to our different states, to do everything possible to cripple all the (oil) installations”.
“We are going to resume attacks and this time around, it is not going to be business as usual. We have already agreed that when we move in, it will be ‘Operation No Mercy’. Anything we find on our way, there would be no option but to crush it”.
“It is not only the installations; we are also going to shut down the offices of each of the oil companies. It is high time the Niger Delta people worked together and declared the Niger Delta Republic. We will be on our own and manage our resources”.
“We had already embraced peace. We had already announced ceasefire before the Operation Crocodile Smile came. The exercise (Operation Crocodile Smile) was done in collaboration with top oil firm directors”.
“The Operation Crocodile Smile was unnecessary because there was no crisis in the Niger Delta. But because we insisted the oil companies should relocate their headquarters to Niger Delta before October, the oil companies connived with the cabal in government and they brought the Nigerian Army to the Niger Delta to intimidate us.
“The directive on the relocation of oil companies’ headquarters came from the Vice-President, but they (oil companies) refused to relocate. The government should have used the money spent on Operation Crocodile Smile for the development of Niger Delta,” according to a statement by the group.