Suspected cultists have destroyed a pipeline belonging to the Nigeria Agip Oil Company, the 2 Brigade of Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, has said.
A statement issued on Tuesday evening, by the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, Captain Eli Lazarus, said the incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday, February 7, at Agip’s gas facility in Akala Olu village in Oshie community, Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State, thereby disrupting the production activities.
According to the statement, the vandals, who were suspected members of the Icelander gang, had threatened to carry out further acts of vandalism, unless their demands were met.
Captain Lazarus said that the group had demanded for the release of a detained suspect-one Mr. Emmanuel Odum, currently undergoing interrogation in connection with pipeline vandalism and cult-related activities.
He however warned that the army will not be cowed into doing the bidding of any criminal group.
“For the avoidance of doubt, anyone caught vandalising such critical national assets will be severely dealt with in accordance with the law,” he said.
The Army further warned that it will deal decisively with any person or group behind the sabotage done to the Nigerian economy, adding that any attempt to disrupt the forthcoming re-run elections in the state would receive dire consequences.
The statement said, “Parents and guardians are, therefore, strongly advised to warn their children or wards against any form of association with such criminal groups or sponsors; otherwise the full wrath of the law would be meted to them.
“The public is hereby assured that no effort will be spared in arresting and prosecuting oil pipeline vandals and criminals.”