Joint Military Task Force (JTF), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and residents said the alleged bomb attack on Conoil facility in Bayelsa State, by the Niger Delta militant group called Koluama, Seven Brothers was not true.
The militant group who allegedly attack the Conoil facility said it carried out a “warning” strike on the facility and the attack was allegedly carried out on Friday.
The militants also threatened a production shut down at the facility and in a statement said it would carry out further strikes if its demands, including job creation, were not met by the company and a traditional leader.
Meanwhile, the military and community sources in Bayelsa State, have described media reports of militants’ attack on an oil pipeline in Koluama 1, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state as “fake news.”
Maj. Ibrahim Abdullahi, Spokesman for the Joint Military Task Force, JTF, in the Niger Delta, condemned the reports in an interview, yesterday.
Abdullahi described the reports as a deception and the handiwork of mischief makers aimed at misinforming the public.
According to him “After exhaustive verifications following enquiries from media practitioners we found out that no such incident happened. We enjoin the media to crosscheck their facts before rushing to the press to avoid publishing falsehood such as this report.”
Also, a resident of the area, James Duo said on phone that Koluama 1 had been peaceful since the New Year with the joint military task force frequently patrolling the waterways.
Mr. Mathew Sele-Epri, a community leader in Koluama 1 and Chairman, KEFFES Rural Development Board, said the report was false.
He said “There is no such incident. If it happened I should have known. I have made contact with my people back home and there is nothing like that; it is fake news.”
Similarly, Chairman, Reuwell Oil and Gas and ex-militant leaders, Clifford Wilson, aka General Pastor Reuben Wilson, also dismissed the attack.
He said “The Reuwells Oil and Gas Surveillance Company, an indigenous company in charge of security surveillance of Conoil rigging activities in Koluama, Southern Ijaw council of Bayelsa State, wants to deny the reported claim that there was a bomb attack on the facilities owned by the energy company in our area
“The news about the attack is nothing but hoax that only existed in the imagination of the misguided youths masquerading as militant group and geared towards creating panic, blackmail and to arm-twist the company into succumbing to threat in the area.
“As a surveillance security company, we are fully on ground and working with the military personnel of Operation Delta Safe, ODS, and Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, patrolling every nooks and crannies of Conoil activities.
“We urge the misguided youths to shun the idea of attacking any facilities in the area as they will be resisted with brutal force.
“We urge the peace loving people of Koluama to be vigilant and report any suspicious movement of person or persons that may want cause violence of any sort on any oil facility in the area,” he said. An official of NSCDC contacted by Vanguard in Yenagoa, said: “As far as I know, there was no attack on any oil facility within our area of jurisdiction in Southern Ijaw area of Bayelsa State.”
Meanwhile according to information on Conoil website, it operates six highly prospective blocks in the Niger Delta and produces over 80,000 barrels of oil per day.