The management of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation on Sunday confirmed the killing of three of its staff by men suspected to be pipeline vandals.
Fidel Pepple, the acting Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of the Corporation, said in a statement on Sunday the three were members of a team deployed to effect repairs on the recently vandalised products pipeline in Arepo Village in Obafemi/Owode Local Government Area of Ogun.
The statement said the three members of the repair team were confirmed dead while some were receiving treatment for injuries sustained from gunshots.
It said the NNPC dispatched the team of pipeline engineers and technologists to the ruptured products pipeline site in Arepo after it had successfully put out the flames by ensuring a complete cut-off of product supply to the pipeline from the Atlas-cove.
The PPMC team, the statement said, was on the verge of gaining access to the damaged point to commence proper assessment of the scope of work when they were ambushed by the gunmen, believed to be pipeline vandals.
Describing the situation as sad and regrettable, the statement called on Nigerians to collaborate with the corporation in its quest to check the activities of pipeline vandals and ensure effective supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country.
“Nigerians need to identify with the NNPC and recognise that it is our collective responsibility to work towards securing the nation’s oil installations which is our collective national asset.
“It is no news that our economy relies heavily on what comes out of these pipelines thus our economic destiny is tied to our pipelines,’’ it added.
According to the statement, “any attack on our pipeline is an attack on our commonwealth”.
It called on Nigerians to rise up to the challenge and join hands with the corporation to eradicate the activities of pipeline vandals.
“It is, therefore, imperative for us to strive to protect these installations in order to ensure continuous flow of oil for the benefit of the Nigerian people,” he said.