Army captures suspects of pipeline explosions in Bayelsa State

Eme Offiong, Calabar

The Nigerian Army says it has arrested suspects responsible for the recent bomb blast of the Agip, Escravos pipelines in the Niger Delta region.

Operation Pulo Shield, the joint military task force deployed to protect oil installations in Nigeria’s delta region, arrested the suspects sequel to a charge from its Commander, Major General Alani Okunola to seek and apprehend those responsible for the act.

An official statement issued by Colonel Isa Ado, Spokesman of Operation Pulo Shield, the suspects now in custody were being interrogated to ascertain the degree of involvement and to help in the arrest of others.

Ado stated that the increased surveillance of the task force yielded the much needed results, noting that other suspected militants involved in the pipeline sabotage would be arrested soon.

He stated: “Some suspects were arrested and are currently undergoing thorough preliminary investigation to ascertain their degree of involvement before handing them over to prosecuting agencies, while effort is on to track and arrest fleeing vandals”.

 “The success of the arrest was due to highly intensified Patrols and Cordon and Search of the waterways, creeks and communities by the Joint Force.

 According to the Spokesman, “Operation PULO SHIELD remains determined to track and arrest perpetrators of the recent multiple attacks and bombing of some oil pipelines and installations across the Niger Delta Region”.

Community Support

The statement further indicated that the Commander of Operation PULO SHIELD assured the people of the Niger Delta region of the determination to stamp out criminal activities with the assistance of the community.

“We are appealing to our people to provide useful information that will aid the task force in its operations. I also use this opportunity to warn those who have intention to cause further destruction to desist forthwith”, the statement added.

It will be recalled that recently a blast on a crude and gas pipeline at Escravos in Delta State resulted to a shutdown of the Warri and Port Harcourt refineries and cut in gas supply to some power plants across Nigeria.

On January 28, another pipeline blast on Agip’s facility resulted to a drop in oil exploration by 16,000 barrels out of 40,000 daily from Brass Oil Export Terminal of Bayelsa coastline.