As news of negotiations with the Niger Delta Avengers continue to filter through the media,with a hope that all things Militarized will soon come to an end, the Niger Delta Avengers have again insisted that they’re not in talks with anyone.
This they stated on Sunday night after they allegedly blew up the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, gas pipeline at Nsite Ibom Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State. The claim though not independently confirmed yet, but spokesperson of the militant group, Brig Gen Mudoch Agbinibo, in a statement, challenged NNPC to “check their pipeline if it is ‘system anomaly.’ ” The statement read: “At 11:30pm on Sunday, the NDA blew up Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), gas pipeline at Nsit-Ibom L.G.A, Akwa Ibom state. NNPC should check their pipeline if it’s “system Anomaly”. Asking the NNPC to check if it was system anomaly is an allusion to the exchange between the militant group and Exxon Mobil, which initially denied an attack on its export line in Akwa-Ibom state, saying that it was a system anomaly, only to declare force majeure days later.
The state commissioner of Police, Murtala Mani says the explosion from the pipeline was as a result of a technical fault. According to him,
“This is no militancy attack. Our men are on ground and the fire service had put off the fire. It is confirmed that there is an explosion in Obotim Nsit in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area of the state. People from the pipeline confirmed that the pipelines are old and overdue for servicing. There are technical problems in the gas pipeline’’