Undermining the warning by President Muhammadu Buhari that his government would treat Niger Delta militants as Boko Haram and common thieves, the militants in the Niger Delta region have continued their onslaught on oil installations in the area with the recent blowing up of the Chevron Valve Platform in Abiteye, Warri North council area of Delta State.
The incident was said to have occurred at about 10:40pm on Wednesday, May 4, 2016.
Though the company’s public affairs manager, Deji Haastrup, could not be reached for comments on the incident, an official of the Department of Security Services, DSS who spoke on anonymity, confirmed the incident, adding that the platform was totally destroyed with the use of dynamites.
The security source further hinted that the platform is a major connecting point where all other platforms link up and serve as a fulcrum to Chevron BOP and the Chevron Tank farm thereby halting all operations of the company in the region.
Claiming responsibility for the incident, the Niger Delta Avengers, an emerging militant group in the region in a statement on Wednesday night, while attributing the incident to the effort of its strike Team 6, stated that the attack on the facility was in line with its promise to the Nigerian government to cripple the economy.
The group which had earlier claimed responsibility for destroying the Forcados 48-inch Export Pipeline, also threatened to attack oil facilities in Lagos and Abuja, the nation’s capital.
“We want to pass this message to all international oil companies operating in the Niger Delta that the Nigerian military cannot protect their facilities. They should talk to the federal government to meet our demands, else more mishaps will befall their installations.
“Until our demands are met, no repair works should be done at the blast site,” the group added.
It could be recalled that ex-militant leader in the oil-rich region, High Chief Government Ekpemukpolo (Tompolo) recently cried out that he should be counted out of the new militant group, Niger Delta Avengers. He had said that some elements were trying to link him to the new militant group.