Tension has gripped Egbemoru community in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State over the burning of Agip Oil pipelines by armed men suspected to be militants.
Sources say the attack is not unconnected to a battle over who takes control of the surveillance contracts being handled by a security company known as Dalong Security.
According to reports, the attack on the Agip Trunk A pipeline route has led to the shutting down of other oil platforms along the Ogbeinbiri axis and others in the area to avoid fire outbreaks and heavy damage to the crude oil supply route in the area.
It comes amid reports that members of the Egbematoru community have reached out to the Joint Military Task Force, also known as Operation Delta Safe, to protect them from the militants.
“Yes, we have reported their activities to security agencies and we expect to nip their activities in the bud.
“Most members of the community are afraid to speak out. These boys engaged in sporadic shooting and they vandalised two Agip pipelines and set them ablaze close to the Beninkurukuru bush. The fire has led to the shutting down of some other facilities in the area,” a resident of the community said on condition of anonymity.
Meanwhile, a senior JTF source has confirmed the incident, saying it was being investigated by the Sector 2 command of the Joint Military Task Force in the state.