COMMANDER of the Joint Task Force (JTF), Major General Okunola, who led his troop to inspect one of the blown up pipelines at Egwa II community in Warri South West, has said the Army will hold community leaders in whose domain such bombing took place responsible for any act of sabotage in their area.
He said that the Federal Government would do all it can to bring the saboteurs of national assets to book as they were already closing in on the criminals.
Okunola said henceforth, security agencies would enforce extant law banning the use of outboard engines with 200 HP and above.
He said the Federal Government would not condone any act of sabotage in the country adding that the act was not only criminal, but, also, capable of undermining national security.
The commander pleaded with government officials and community leaders to give JTF and other security agencies in the region useful information that would lead to arrest of the perpetrators for prosecution.
He said “the pipeline was blown three days ago. We are going to fish out those responsible. It was a massive sabotage and critical to national assets. There is no way we will fold our hands and allow perpetrators to get away with it.
“We do not have our men deployed in the area; that was why they had the opportunity to do it.”
The JTF commander said it was sad for anyone to put the nation in jeopardy by blowing up its national assets and assured Niger Delta residents of JTF determination to wipe out all acts of illegalities in the region.
This was just as ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, last night, sent an open message to President Muhammadu Buhari alleging that top members of his party, All Progressives Congress (APC) in Bayelsa and Delta states were responsible for the ongoing destruction of crude oil and gas pipelines in the creeks of Delta State.
Tompolo spoke again on the renewed bombing just as the Joint Task Force (JTF) in the Niger Delta, Operation Pulo Shield, Major General Alani Okunola, yesterday, said the task force was closing in on those blowing up oil pipelines belonging to Nigeria Gas Company, Chevron Nigeria Limited and Nigeria National Petroleum Company, NNPC. He vowed that JTF would fish them out.
The ex-militant leader in his letter to Buhari, said the leader of APC in Bayelsa State and a few young men from Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta state were bent on linking him to the vandalisation of oil facilities in the Niger Delta region, “whereas they are the ones carrying out the act to smear my name.”
“They are doing this in connivance with the Economic and Financial Crime Commission, EFCC lawyer, who is also a member of your party and is at the forefront of prosecuting me because I refused to buy property from him,” he stated.