Troops of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence corps (NSCDC), yesterday, stormed the creeks of Bayelsa State in search of the fleeing suspected bombers of a pipeline belonging to the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in Ikienghenbiri community, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area.
Sources from the community said armed NSCDC operatives arrived at the area on speedboats and gunboats and moved to adjoining creeks to locate the whereabouts of suspects identified as Suoyou, Iyelawei and Fynboy.
The suspects were said to have fled the community following the Sunday’s attack on Agip’s Tebidaba-Brass pipeline that passed through the area.
The suspects allegedly destroyed the trunkline with dynamites causing massive fire and thick smoke that unsettled the community.
One of the suspects was arrested by troops of NSCDC with support from the surveillance contractor and the community folks.
Speaking on the incident in a statement, yesterday, the Bayelsa State command of the NSCDC said its operatives were particularly mandated to find a suspected leader of the gang identified as Suoyou.
The statement by the command’s spokesman Mr. Dauzuo Izonfate, admitted that the arrested suspect was in their custody and would soon be arraigned and “diligently prosecuted”.
Izonfate said the ongoing operations in the creeks, particularly in Southern Ijaw, would surely lead the operatives to the hideout of the suspects adding that their identities and pictorial images had been known.
He said: “We want to state that the suspect we arrested in connection with the attack on Agip pipeline at Ikienghenbiri in Southern Ijaw is in our custody. NSCDC, in its resolve to protect and secure the critical national assets in the state as mandated by our Commandant-General will arraign and diligently prosecute the suspect.
“We are on the trail of other suspects who are on the run and we will surely nab them. We thank the Ikienghenbiri community for their efforts in helping us tackle the menace of vandalism in the state.
“We are also appealing to other communities to toe a similar path in this collective war against pipeline vandalism, economic sabotage and environmental pollution”.
Izonfate warned aggrieved youths in the state to explore other peaceful means of expressing their demands instead of resorting in damaging critical national assets and polluting the environment.
“We are fully committed, motivated and ever ready to protect our national assets and government property in the state”, he said.