Armed youths suspected to be loyalists of Chief Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo continued their attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta region.
According to Sahara Reporters, the militants used General Purpose Machine-guns in several boats on Saturday, January 16.
Oil and gas pipelines in the creeks of Gbaramatu and Ugborodo areas of Warri South West and those in Egbema, North local
government areas respectively of Delta state were targeted in the attack. According to residents, the militants used weapons that were more sophisticated than the ones used in the past.
These attacks are not unconnected to the order given by a court on Thursday, January 14 to arrest Tompolo in connection with an alleged N34 billion fraud.
A source said: “The gas pipeline, which runs from Olero creeks to Escravos were destroyed in the latest attack. Several crude lines were sabotaged while Makaraba, Otunana (Uton-Nana), Abiteye and Dibi flow stations were bombed.
“The pipeline, which conveys gas from Saghara to Chevron, was also destroyed and there are several persons trapped in the communities.
“The kind of explosives and bombs they used are not like those of before; the effects were felt in several communities as they went off intermittently.”
It was reported that Chevron was particularly affected by the attack as the workers were airlifted after militants blocked the waterways and restricted movement of transport boats.
It was reported that the attack went on for hours.
“The sheer force of the explosion shook several communities and there were several explosions. There is panic everywhere and the waterways have again been taken over by armed gangs.”
Residents have begun to flee the area as militants were reportedly seen handing out weapons in anticipation of further attacks.
A resident said: “We are tired of running like this always. In 2009, it was because of the killing of soldiers. Today, it is because of Tompolo and EFCC.
We didn’t benefit from the NIMASA money, there were individuals who got billions, others millions but how much did we get? Nothing! Yet we are the ones who are always the victims.”
Gbaramatu leaders have reportedly warned Tompolo on the implication of engaging in a war with the federal forces.