The Bayelsa State Government on Monday said some armed youths from Ikienghenbiri community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state had been arrested for allegedly vandalising a major oil pipeline in the state.
The pipeline, which carries crude oil from the Agip Oil Company flow station at Tebidaba to Brass, was blown up with dynamites, the government said in a statement by its Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Jonathan Obuebite.
Mr. Obuebite said the group of vandals was led by Suoyou, Iyelawei and Fyneboy.
They were said to have been apprehended by youths of Azuzuama community, who got wind of their action.
Mr. Obuebite said the arrest was carried out with the support of operatives of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, and that one of vandals was shot in the leg while trying to escape.
The statement, however, didn’t mention if those arrested were members of the new militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers, or any other known militant group in the troubled Niger Delta region.
Mr. Obuebite praised the youths of Azuzuama community “for their gallantry, patriotic disposition and commitment to the peace and economic well-being of the state and Nigeria as a whole.”
The commissioner said the state governor, Seriake Dickson, was going to “reward them for responding positively to his clarion call when it mattered most.”
He expressed delight that the arrest of the vandals followed the governor’s meeting with traditional rulers and chairmen of communities, where the governor placed on community leaders the responsibility of maintaining peace and safeguarding oil facilities within their domains.
“If every other community can act in like manner, the current wave of attacks on national assets and related criminal acts will be drastically minimised, if not completely eliminated,” the commissioner said, while calling on others to emulate the Azuzuama community.
He assured community leaders and youths that the state government would continue to support and partner them, so as to protect lives and property in Bayelsa.