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The Tide (Nigeria): Militants destroy Shell manifolds in Bayelsa

Fyneface Aaron • Wednesday, Mar 8, 2006
Amidst the relative calm that now prevails in Bayelsa State, militant groups have struck again at Ekeremor Local Government Area, destroying two manifolds built by Shell Petroleum Development Company at Agge and Agoro.
Ekeremor in Bayelsa West Senatorial District has porous boundary with Bomadi and Burutu in Delta State.
Both Bayelsa and Delta State Governments have been having problems containing youth restiveness in the areas.
The restive youths have been taking full advantage of their knowledge of the terrain, to carry out subversive activities against oil companies.
The Tide gathered that the blasting of the manifolds has resulted to the spilling of more than 250 barrels of crude into the streams and swamp of neighbouring communities.
Although, government officials are keeping sealed lips over the recent development, a press release by the External Affairs Manager, Western Division of SPDC, Mr Harriman Oyofo, confirmed the incident.
The Tide further gathered that the recent incident may affect the agreement reached between the militant youths and Federal Government officials on stoppage of hostility pending when the issues raised are addressed.
A member of the “Operation Restore Hope”, the military outfit responsible for security in the Niger Delta, told The Tide on phone, yesterday.
It was in view of this agreement that an American gunship that was deployed to the troubled area recently has not been put to effective usage.
However, residents of Agoro and Agge communities are counting their losses as the anguish of the clash between the armed youths and peace keepers lingers.
Perede Agaowei, a fisherman, told The Tide that since the incident began, most of them “no longer go for fishing, beside, the crude oil spill into our river has made live very difficult”, he said.
As at the time of reporting, no group has claimed responsibility for the burning of the manifolds.

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