• We Are Doing Our Best, Says JTF Commander
• Ijaw Group Cautions Against Niger Delta Militarisation
THE pipeline bombing of January 14 at Egwa in Delta State, could have been averted were the key control points in the pipeline’s route well manned by the military joint task force, the House of Representatives committee on gas resources said yesterday, after inspecting the site of the destruction.
Members of the gas committee, who were on a fact-finding visit, said during a meeting with officials of the Nigeria Gas Company (NGC) that adequate security were not provided, hence the loophole that was created for the militants to go in and blow up the pipeline.
But the Delta State commander of the JTF Lt. Col Patrick Omoke, who was invited to the meeting, said the task force was working round the clock to protect oil facilities in the state. He said the oil firms should integrate the host communities in their area of operations in order to put an end to the destructions.
The chairman of the House committee on gas resources, Agbedi Yeitiemone Frederick, described the bombing of the Escravos-Warri pipeline as a collosal loss to the nation.
“ This is a terrible sabotage on the progress and development of this country and her sources of revenue, we condemn it in totality. This is retarding the progress and development of Niger Delta as well as Nigeria,” he said, even as he urged communities to ensure that perpetrators of such terrible acts are brought to book by providing timely information that would stem such criminal act.
The House members asked the oil firms, particularly the NGC to always carry the host community along in their activities in order to guarantee conducive working environment.
In another development, an Ijaw professional and youth group, Iwere Peace Movemen (IPM) has warned the federal government against continued militarisation of the oil-rich region while searching for former militant, Government Ekpemupolo, popularly called Tompolo
The group alleged that militarisation of the region could be a guise to kill the Ijaw leader.
It, therefore, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to sustain the prevailing peace in the region by calling the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) and the military to order.