A soldier attached to the Joint Task Force in the Niger Delta escorting oil workers from an oil spill site drowned and a died at Taylor Creek near an oilfield operated by Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in Okordia, Yenagoa LGA, Bayelsa.
A community source said on Friday, May 20, 2016 that the soldier drowned when a boat conveying the oil workers across the Taylor Creek capsized.
According to the source, “The boat conveying the crew from Agip’s field capsized on their way back from the site at the oilfield across and before help could come the soldier drowned and died, they were using a hand paddled canoe to cross the workers one at a time.
“The soldier was washing his boots when water entered that boat and it capsized and the riffle fell into the creeks the other members of the crew had crossed and were waiting for him to cross.”
The source said that the attention of the fishermen operating along the creek was drawn to the distressed soldier and canoe driver of the ill-fated boat and they came and rescued him.
It was gathered that officials of NAOC, National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), and oil workers were returning from an assessment visit to an oil leak site when the incident occurred on Thursday evening.
Mr Samuel Oburo, Youth President Kalaba Community, in Okordia, said that the riffle of the dead soldier was recovered by local divers on Friday.
“Some soldiers from Elele barrack came around after the remains of the soldier was recovered and asked me to mobilise local divers in search of the riffle of the soldier. We went in search of the gun and we recovered the riffle and handed it over to them, later in the day another senior officer came to show appreciation to the community,” Oburo said
Spokesman of the Joint Military Force in the Niger Delta, Col. Isa Ado, could not be reached on telephone for comments on the incident, he did not respond to a text message requesting his comments.
Eni, parent company of NAOC, did not respond to an e-mail seeking a response on the incident.