From George Onyejiuwa, Owerri
Three months after it attacked its first target, Niger Delta Red Squad (RDRS), the new militant group operating in the oil bearing communities of Ohaji/Egbema council area of Imo State, said it has blown another facility belonging to Agip Oil Company at Umuonei in Awara community.
The group, which announced the attack in a Facebook posting, warned Agip personnel to keep away from the pipeline, as anybody found within the vicinity would be beheaded.
The group in the post by one General Don Wannie, claimed it struck because it has nothing to show for the operations of Agip, and other oil companies in their community since the creation of Imo State. “We have seen enough marginalisation and it has to be stopped,” he said.
The militant group said it was forced to resume hostility as a result of the continued criminal neglect of the oil-bearing communities by oil companies.
“We are not happy with Agip because they have continued to neglect our communities. Since they have refused to change, we have equally resumed the attack on their pipelines and we are going to blow until they do the right thing. “
The group, which vowed to chase out the oil company from Ohaji/Egbema council area said if the state government failed to compel the oil company to do the right thing, it would have no option but to also attack the offices of the Imo State Oil Producing Area Development Commission (ISOPADEC), the Niger Delta Development Community (NDDC) among others in the state.
It also threatened to attack Governor Rochas Okorocha’s Ogboko village if government deployed any military to their community.
“To Imo State government and their security agencies, we ask you to give our people what rightfully belong to them. You think the best thing you can do is to plan how to deploy security men to our area. No problem… we are assuring you that no security agent will come to any part of Awarra and go without being beheaded,” it threatened.
After it hit a facility operated by Shell Petroleum Development Company in Awarra, Ohaji/Egbema local council area of Imo State in June, the group vowed to inflict maximum damage to oil facilities, if Ohaji/Egbema communities were not given due benefits from their oil resource.
Following the initial attack, the group said: “Oil companies started operation in our community since 1957, but up till date, we have nothing to show as benefit. For Imo State government, we will make sure you make no further gains from Ohaji/Egbema. “Since God’s creation, neither Imo State government nor oil companies have remembered us. We have been neglected and abandoned. No electricity. No tarred roads. No drinking water. No hospital. No youth employment or empowerment. We shall destroy everything in Imo State that was built with our oil money.”
Neither the state government nor the police was willing to confirm the attack, at press time.