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Pipeline vandals hit Festac Town, Lagos again

As rival militants attack Eni oil pipeline in Bayelsa

…Army officers sell off seized petrol

… Vandalism increases price of stolen petrol

A fresh case of pipeline vandalism has been reported in Festac Town, in Amuwo Odofin Local Government of Lagos State.
According to eyewitness accounts, sporadic gunshots were heard early Sunday morning along 4th /7th Avenue of Festac.
As usual, residents around the area knew what had happened, having sighted vandals in gun duel with army officers who were put on guard at the area since the last and well reported operation in the town.
According to information gathered, worshippers whose churches were around the area, were barred by the soldiers from entering into their churches as stench of petrol filled the area, with large amounts flowing on the canal.
Daily Times gathered that even with army officers on guard in the area, vandalisation of oil pipelines did not at any time cease, as vandals now carry their “massive” exploits in kegs through 6th Avenue, and load them in waiting trucks without any confrontation.
Our sources confirmed that the soldiers on guard around The Apostolic Church at 4th /7th Avenue could be in the know of the continuous activities of the vandals, as uncountable kegs of petrol were sighted in their company being sold off to black-marketers and resident companies, thereby further increasing prices of petrol.
Residents of the estate confirmed the non-stop vandalism in the area.
“The government needs to keep an eye even on the soldiers on guard here. We found out that vandalisation of oil pipeline has not stopped in Festac Town even after the deadly operation they had last that made the soldiers to be deployed there,” one source said.
“We heard gunshots midnight but of course, no one knew where they were coming from until we got here this morning to worship. But, the soldiers didn’t allow us pass so we had to rent canopies and chairs, mounted them outside where we worshipped,” another sour said.
“We are sure that these soldiers know about their activities if not, why didn’t they catch any of the vandals instead, what we saw were kegs of petrol being sold off to those black market guys and they will sell to residents at expensive prices. You see what we are going through here?,” Another said.
When Daily Times approached the black-marketers, a litre of petrol which officially sells for N145, were being sold for N150, N160.
Majority of the petrol stations were also not selling due to lack of the product, with the high price forcing many to park their cars at home for commercial vehicles.

In a related development, an oil pipeline has been vandalised following a clash between rival armed groups at an oilfield operated by Eni’s Nigerian subsidiary, Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in Bayelsa State.
A resident, Mr. Ebidimo Joseph at the Ikeinghenbiri community in Southern Ijaw council, Bayelsa on Sunday, said that the groups were struggling for control of the Ogboinbiri-Tebidaba
crude trunk line which passed through the area.
According to him, residents were had ran away from the community due to fear.
“We understand it is a conflict between two armed groups for the access to the crude pipeline, one group claims to be working to safeguard the pipeline and said the other group are vandals; they have been shooting.
“The sound of the gunfire is scary, and there is no sign of the Joint Task Force soldiers who are supposed to be patrolling the area, we have not seen any soldier,” Joseph said.
Joseph said the pipeline was set on fire while the two groups engaged each other in the gun battle.
However, no mention of casualty has been ascertained till the time of filing this report.
He said that a thick ‘cloud of smoke’ had enveloped the community and polluted the atmosphere in the area.

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