Rumour had spread of a MEND bomb of the depot.
Reports that the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) bombed the Abaji, Abuja, depot of the Nigerian National petroleum Corporation (NNPC) on Saturday morning is false, the spokesperson of the Pipelines and Products Marketing Company (PPMC), has said.
The rumour rattled the country’s petroleum sector as top officials of the NNPC rallied to dispel it.
The speculation began to spread that the armed militant group had issued a statement that it attacked a facility that provides storage for petroleum products for the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, and the adjoining states.
“Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (M.E.N.D), stealthily attached portable military limpet explosives magnetically to two (2) articulated tanker vehicles laden with petrol in a queue outside the NNPC depot in Abaji, the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.
The devices were timed to detonate simultaneously several seconds later. The outcome was predictable,” a statement, supposedly from MEND spokesman, Jomo Gbomo said.
The statement also called for the resignation of the Petroleum minister, Diezani Alison-Madueke, and the release of Henry Okah and his brother, Charles from prisons in South Africa and Nigeria respectively.
However, the Manager, Media/Public Affairs of the PPMC, a subsidiary of the NNPC, Nasir Imodagbe, dismissed the speculations as untrue.
“There is no bomb incident at Abaji Depot. You can quote me on this,” Mr. Imodagbe said.
Also, an official of the NNPC who spoke with PREMIUM TIMES in confidence, because he is not authorised to speak on the issue, said the management of the corporation also learnt of the rumour, though it was yet to confirm it.
“Management has also heard about the rumour,” the official siad. “But, we are yet to confirm. What I can tel you now is that we are all going to the office to make the necessary contacts with the relevant authorities. If there is any information we can share, we will surely issue a statement at the appropriate time.”