The Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for destruction of oil and gas pipelines in the region and has warned the government not to carry out any repair on the facilities or face their wrath.
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The militant group warned on June 13 that no repair should be done until the right atmosphere for dialogue is achieved. “We are going to redirect and reactivate all our activities if the government, oil companies and their services firms do not heed these modest warnings of not carrying out repair works and suspend the buying of crude oil from our region, as we await the right atmosphere that will engender genuine dialogue,” The militants bombed pipelines belonging to the Nigeria Gas Company on Wednesday, May 26 at Ubefan Creek in Gbaramatu Kingdom in the Warri south-west local government area of Delta state but in spite of their warning, the federal government had started repair works in the region. Vanguard reports that there was a heavy military presence in the region as soldiers escorted repair workers. Residents in the area conformed that soldiers were escorting badges, tugboats loaded with equipment and personnel heading for the repairs of the damaged facility.
Chief Moses Bebenimibo who is the chairman of Kunukunuma Federated Communities confirmed that repair works were going on but complained that Melcurt Nigeria Limited that was handling the maintenance did not involve the host communities. He said he or the communities were not approached by the repairers at all and accused the federal government of being interested only on the oil that flows in the communities and not the well-being of the people. “They are good in using the military to always intimidate and subdue us in matters that affect us as a people from this end.”