Nigeria’s gas production suffered another setback late Thursday, as suspected militants sabotaged a gas pipeline operated by the Nigeria Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), located in Owhrode, Udu council area of Delta State.
The attack was said to have occurred at about 11pm on Thursday, with an earth shaking explosion, sending panic round nearby communities.
Owhrode is an Urhobo community in the upland part of Delta. Although no group had claimed responsibility for the incident as at the time of filing this report, there were suggestions yesterday that the attack might have been carried out by a new insurgent group; the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM), which had warned of attacks on oil and gas assets in the upland areas of the oil-rich region.
Confirming the development, the President General of Owhrode community, Michael Odjo, said that the community heard the sound of the explosion at about 11pm on Thursday night, adding that he immediately mobilized the members of the executives, youths and members of the local vigilante to points of oil facilities in their area, but did not find anything.
“We returned and blocked all access roads in and out of the community in a bid to apprehend the suspected militants who blow-up the pipeline, but couldn’t find any of them,” he said.
Odjo explained that the group discovered on Friday morning that it was the NPDC gas pipeline that was destroyed by the suspected militants.
“The gas pipeline is the only oil facility in our area that has no surveillance workers; so I want to appeal to the management of NPDC to engage members of the host communities in securing the facility,” he added.
A police source at Ovwian/Aladja Police station told The Nation that members of the Orhuwhorun community vigilante outfit informed the police about the explosion, adding that the police division immediately mobilized to the scene of the incident.
“When we got there, we found out that the gas pipeline was blown with dynamite connected to a battery, which the perpetrators left at the crime scene. Efforts to apprehend the perpetrators failed, as we found no trace of their where about,” the police source said.