WOLE BALOGUN spends five days on the trail of pipeline vandals and agencies saddled with the responsibility of checking their activities
Before the rape
“I was very young in the late 70s, when grandma used to fetch fresh fish from the water, cook delicious meals and we used to relish it.” Prince Agonaemi Evah told the reporter in Operemor, an oil producing community in Delta State. “Those were good old days when the Niger Delta water had nutritious endowments graciously bestowed on it by nature.” he continued.
““You could get several species of fishes in it. We hunted for water snails, crayfish and the like, the water alone sustained the whole clan.”
“You only needed to spread your net across the edge of the water and it comes out bursting with fishes” Kestin Pondi, now head of a team commissioned by the federal government to track down oil thieves, also recalled.
“It was pleasurable experience when we voyaged to its shore where the sun sets, glittering. We were drinking, and even bathing in the water. It used to regulate itself to suit our desires. In very brief account, the water was a general means of livelihood for everyone”
Twist of fate.
“But now”, Agonaemi became emotional, his temper rose as he spoke: “Now, it is a sad story, the water that catered for millions of the villagers is no more. It has become a shadow of its former self, it is raped by endless oil spills.”
But like Oliver Twist the reporter wanted to hear more of the tragic stories he had learnt from a far distance before coming to the shores to witness the degradation of a once bubbling rural life in its virgin nature, now overrun by an ocean of black, stinking crude oil spills let loose by mindless enemies of nature and man who daily stealth the creeks to vandalize oil pipelines and siphon the black gold.
Oil pipeline vandalization leads to oil spillage that pollutes the water in oil producing communities, releasing toxics in thick smoke into the air and destroys the fauna of the unfortunate communities. Gas flaring is yet another sinister manifestation from oil exploration, adding to the sorrow of the people. More painful is the fact that oil theft sabotage Nigeria’s economy.
A sudden discovery and its prize
“With the return to democratic governance in 1999, many big time oil thieves became political leaders and many political leaders became oil thieves. They formed cult groups in the oil producing areas from which they linked their contacts in government and the security agencies.
Some of the younger ones soon became political thugs, who after elections turned to oil thievery to arm themselves for next election.” The story continued.
Many of these armed youths later embraced a violent movement of freedom fighting, otherwise called militancy that shook the foundations of the nation’s economy.
The bitter war between the security forces and the militants ended on October 4, 2009 when the regime of the late Umaru Yar’Adua offered the militants, estimated at 26,000, amnesty in exchange for the unconditional surrender of their arms.
Probably as a further step of empowering the people in the oil rich states and stemming the tide of oil theft, the federal government through the NNPC, contracted an oil surveillance company that was charged with the responsibility of protecting oil facilities in the host communities, while the surveillance operations of the upstream section in the region was handled by the Joint Task Force, (JTF). The FG again at inception of the present regime of President Goodluck Jonathan, expanded the oil surveillance operations in the creeks by signing a contract, through the NNPC, with interested parties, many of who were former freedom fighters and concerned young men of the region, absorbing them into the oil facility surveillance companies in each of the nine oil producing states.
Earlier in the year, the former NNPC GMD, Mr. Austen Oniwon, had informed that a total of 16,083 pipeline breaks were recorded within the last 10 years, adding that while 398 pipeline breaks representing 2.4 per cent were due to ruptures, the activities of unpatriotic vandals accounted for 15,685 breaks which translates to about 97.5 percent of the total number of cases.
It was also gathered that the incessant attacks on the Trans Forcados Pipeline, (TFP) has rendered it out of service since May, 2009 thus making it impossible to evacuate crude oil/ condensate from some Shell operated facilities.
“Currently over 300,000 bpd and 140mscfd is deferred and about 55 vandalized points so far repaired at a cost of N11 billion,” the GMD said while explaining the damage done on gas exploitation by vandals.
The NNPC further claimed that it spent over US$42.952million to execute a two-phase repair work which started in September, 2009 on 74 damaged points in System 2C-1. Escravos –Warri Crude Oil Pipelines to enable the start up of the Warri and Kaduna refineries.
Checks by Daily Sun also revealed that the System 2E/2EX which conveys products from the Port Harcourt refinery to Aba- Enugu-Makurdi depots onwards to Yola-Enugu-Auchi, particularly the Port Harcourt-Aba/Isiala-Ngwa axis, appears to be the haven of pipeline vandalism in the country.
8,105 breaks were recorded along the system 2E within the period representing about 50.3 percent of the total number of petroleum products pipeline breaks in the country. The attacks left the NNPC with a cost of N78.15 billion in products losses and pipeline repairs.
The System 2A product pipeline route which conveys products from Warri-Benin-Suleja/Ore depots ranks second on the scale of pipeline break points with 3,259 cases representing about 20.2 percent of the total volume of products pipeline breaks in Nigeria. The figure also came with a loss of over N20.39 billion in products and pipeline repairs.
The System 2B which carries products from the Atlas Cove-Mosimi-Satelite-Ibadan-Ilorin depots recorded 2,440 breaks leading to a loss of over N73.6 billion in products and pipeline repairs.
On a national level, the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, has a higher estimate of about one-fifth of the nation’s daily oil revenue being lost to oil thieves. That translates to about 500,000 barrels, or $50 million or N8 billion daily and N2.92 trillion annually, more than half of the 2012 budget.
Obviously, such huge loss could not be permitted for a long time.
Recent investigative exercise that took the reporter to some creeks of the Niger Delta as well as other oil producing areas in country, covering major parts of the routes earlier mentioned, revealed shocking insights into the operational strategies of the oil thieves including among others, the extent of the damage they are incurring on the affected communities.
Ojobo: Sentenced to squalor.
Ojobo is a major oil producing community in the Burutu Local Government Area of Delta State. The sleepy hamlet is a host community to the Beneseibe filling station owned by Shell. It is the traditional home to thousands of Ijaw people of the region but crawling far behind in social development expected of an oil rich community. Save for the oil filling station and a few small private business centres, you couldn’t find a major company where any adult could find a decent job there.
“There is an urgent need to conduct a test that would determine the amount of toxic chemicals that escape into the air via gas flaring in this community” Hon. Fred Brisibe, an indigene and former local council councillor in the area said.
“The people inhale these toxics and are infected with terrible ailments that lead to high mortality rates in our communities. There are even rampant cases of deformities, there are cases where unborn children have been deformed, mentally and bodily as a result of bad air their mother inhaled at pregnancy.” Said Brisibe.
“ And the irony is that the villagers ignorantly attribute these oddities to witchcraft and fetish practices. “ He continued. “They thus seek for irrelevant spiritual help when none is needed.”
Are there no hospitals where such oddities could be diagnosed and prevented? You wanted to know “ Our peoples’ lives are not even in the hands of God.” Brisibe submitted. “ Their lives are now in the hands of the oil companies who have failed to fulfil their part as regards making good their promises on delivering their corporate social responsibilities to the host communities. Such hospital as you asked is a mirage here.”
Lamenting the loss of the water to incessant oil spills Pa Ebi, an experienced fisherman, chipped in.
, “Some special species of our fishes which we used to be proud of having in this part of the world have gone into extinction as a result of the destruction of the water, they have all been poisoned and perished.”
“The oil workers are not only sympathetic to our environmental challenges, some of them have added to our sorrow by exploiting our women the same way they exploit our oil with impunity”, said Brisibe.
“They abuse our young women and sleep with wives of the villagers. They use money to entice them and perpetuate these evils. You know those workers have the money. They sleep with so many of our women and once those ones are pregnant they run away and the children from such unions become fatherless children. This is a desecration of our culture because it is against the values and ethics of our culture.” Brisibe said fuming with rage and to substantiate his claims, he quickly added: “ A man I met in Lagos, in the upstream unit of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) once confessed to me that he has a child in my community on learning that I was from there. He did confess to me that after impregnating one of our women he ran away. I can tell you his name. “ “Again, our people expect that social amenities such as roads, hospitals and schools among others would be provided as compensation for exploiting their oil, women and others but nothing like that has been done. That is why some desperate folks decide to vandalize pipelines and settle themselves with the proceeds they make from the deal. I am not trying to justify the criminal acts of sabotaging the economy but I’m only explaining the factors that pushed the perpetrators to it.” The young leader and representative of his people finalised.
Ogulagha clan: Worse cases of deprivation.
Comrade Jerry Akibe didn’t mince words when he informed this reporter about a later innovation of the pipeline vandals for more sinister motives: “At a point in time, they started evolving ways of distilling the crude oil by setting up illegal refineries where they employ various crude means to “refine” the oil. With the proceeds they make when they get crude oil from vandalized pipelines, they secured all kinds of crude tools such as crudely fabricated, drums, chambers, containers and sub-standard pipes among others for the heinous acts of sabotage. And in the process of “cooking” the oil through their crude means, fire accidents occur that claims lives of many; some who survive the fire sometimes have parts of their body seriously burnt. Sometimes the whole bush would be burnt with children, man and woman wiped out. And the pollution of the environment from such accident is worse than gas flare. When you are passing through such routes and you inhale the air, it use to be very terrible.”
“You remember the Jesse incident, where an oil pipeline was vandalized and the entire community went to scoop fuel and in the process, somebody lighted fire and it caused an inferno that wiped out the entire community, that happened around 1998 or 1999. We keep having such incidents across the oil producing communities. Another very crucial issue is that when there are incidents of criminal pipeline vandalization by the hoodlums, it could take 10 days or even a month before the affected area is cleaned up. And when that happens, the odour alone is killing for the villagers.”
And indeed, a couple of hours spent in the village by the reporter offered a horrible experience, and confirmed the informants’ claims.
Kestin Pondi, the General Manager of the the Delta State oil facility Surveillance Company Limited, (OFSCL) in Warri, who hailed from one of the communities in Ogulaha clan, also wailed for his community. His words: “It is a serious situation and very debilitating. Before the pipeline vandalism becomes rampant, say in the pre-1996, you only need to spread your net across the edge of the water and you would catch many fresh fishes to feed your family and even sell. Then, there was no oil spillage, then came the spills, especially a major one from shell in 1997 or thereabout. And there were some other pockets of spills by oil pipeline vandalism and equipment failure from the oil companies and that was the beginning of our tears.”
“We no longer have fishes. We have been depending on expensive turkeys imported from foreign countries. If you go to any of our major markets you only find turkeys, processed chickens and iced fishes all imported or brought from other states.”
A hungry man…
Now famished, naked and sun-baked Operemor village was once a lively clan with fertile soil that sprouted robust crops that guaranteed bountiful harvests. Its beautiful water used to bless the folks with adorable weather and delicious species of fishes.
Pa Abiye said the gaunt looking, poorly clothed children, whose pitiable, sunken eyes brought tears to one’s eyes, belong to an unlucky generation.” Once upon a time, our own time, there were well-fed, robust lads, energetic children bubbling with life because we had more than enough to eat, drink and even sell, courtesy of our productive forest, water and fertile land. They were the days that our fauna had not been overrun by pollutants from oil spills, thick smoke and gas flaring.
“ We thought that we suffered when we were growing up. All we had then was the unspoiled environment. We relied on fishing and tapping and occasional farming and we were feeding fat, drinking good water. But once the incidents of oil spillage and gas flaring began, things took a drastic turn for woes and thorns. These are evil times for us and worse days are ahead if the government and oil companies fail to heed our cries.” Teary-eyed Abiye said.
On the trail of oil thieves…
Pairing up with an informant, the reporter, in order to find out if truly illegal refineries were present in the creeks, posed as a buyer of fuel from the illegal operators. We called at the local terminals where the refined products were available for sales after it would have been transported from the refinery. My informant who understood the native tongue and who had informed the “ dealers” about our proposed transaction days before my coming, did the bargaining on my behalf. And once the deal was struck, we pleaded to come back later to buy, as we were not yet through with the arrangement of moving the product to our station. We told the sellers that we had to ensure that the coast was clear before moving the product. We had struck a deal to buy 20 drums for N21, 000 each. An estimate of almost N80 per litre!
Men of the Delta State Oil facility Surveillance Company Limited (OFSCL) headed by Mr. Kestin Pondi and the Joint Task Force, (JTF) were feared in the creeks in Delta State, the reporter gathered that the OFSCL men sometimes disguise as buyers in order to fish out the criminals. In the process, they could subject a “dealer to probing and if his or her responses were not satisfactorily, the “dealer” automatically lands himself in trouble and is promptly arrested. So, when a buyer says he or she wasn’t prepared to buy at a time, the criminals let things be.
Oil theft racket is a very lucrative one as checks by Daily Sun revealed. “I make about N1.5 million on a single trip to the creeks.” Said one of the suspects arrested by security operatives in the creeks.
One of the communities notorious for having pipeline vandals and operators of illegal refineries is Ogulaha. The reporter asked to be part of one of the raids conducted recently by the OFSCL. It was an early morning raid and we journeyed with speedboats on the water for several hours. Armed security operatives were also part of the team should there be a need for armed confrontation with the criminals. Pondi’s team usually found about an illegal refinery through his informants already planted in the villages and the creeks. When a thick disturbing smoke is sighted billowing towards the sky somewhere in the forest, it usually gives a clue to the presence of an illegal refinery in the creeks. The surveillance team then used the smoke as a guide to the site of such refinery and in the process of tracing it, a crudely made pipe, assembled by the spoilers, would be discovered and it would further serve as a reliable guide to finding the site.
The security operatives were already armed with the tools with which they destroy such crude pipes. Such tools include saws used to cut the pipes. In forest you could never imagined would be explored by humans, the fake pipes snaked into the heart of the creeks leading of course to secluded sites where all sorts of crudely fabricated machines and materials used in heating up the crude oil to near cracking level to get fairly refined automotive gas oil, AGO, otherwise called diesel, and a poor form of premium motor spirit, PMS, or fuel, are stationed.
Thick black smoke billowing from crudely fabricated heating drums and chambers filled the horrible sites. Steel pipes are welded in at strategic angles for easy supply of ‘refined’ products to waiting buyers. One of the crude pipes serves as a returning pipe in the process. Other raw materials seen in the sites include buckets, speedboats (or canoes), jerry cans and drums used in storing both the crude oil and the ‘refined’ products.
Just like the distillation process in chemistry. The culprits have in the local refineries, fabricated containers serving as the “ovum” in which the crude oil is poured and heated in order to extract several other resources such as fuel, diesel, and kerosene among others. There are different boiling points the heating process will reach at which it be paused to extract a certain petroleum resources. The “ovum” in question is connected to a storage tanker or container as the case may be, with locally welded iron pipes as shown in the pictures. Each pipe carries a different petroleum resources and the number of resources targeted for extraction determines the number of pipes that are connected to the “ovum”.
There are also drums in which the extracted oils are collected into. Other co-workers fill the drums as soon as the storage container is filled from the fabricated “ovum”. Generating sets used to power the crude machines are found in any of the sites in large numbers. In some other sites, the oil is heated in large containers the same way bread is baked in little containers in a typical bakery. It is in such places that many of the culprits have parts of their body burnt and even get completely burnt them.
Explaining the operations of the perpetrators at one of the sites the reporter sneaked to, an official of the OFSCL, Mr. Alfred Efiekumor, said: “ The illegal oil refineries operators have devised a local means of distilling the crude oil once they have moved it into their site through their own pipes. They have in place several crudely fabricated containers, which serve as the “oven” in which the crude oil is heated to various points where each of its extractable contents such as fuel, kerosene and diesel among others could be extracted.
Iron cods to storage tanks in which the processed oils are stored through separate connecting pipes further connect the “ovens”. Once the processed oil is stored in drums they are then moved on boats to other sites where buyers are waiting to receive them. Such buyers could have paid for the goods in advance.”
Illegal refinery sites in the creeks could only be likened to an imaginary site of the hell fire aptly described in the holy books to warn mankind of the consequences of toying with God’s wrath. Thick smoke from the cooking exercise filled the atmosphere. The environment itself boils with intense heat provided by the “cooking” and the heating. It is noisy, smoky and stinking. Where the cooking is not done in a crude way of boiling the oil with hot charcoals, noisy generating sets that deafen the ears provide power for the sub-standard machines that do the cooking. The surveillance team and security operatives usually destroy all these materials once they get to the sites. And in a situation where the perpetrators were caught unawares in the site, they are promptly disarmed and arrested. Where they have been battle ready, a bitter armed confrontation ensured before the security operatives took charge of the situation. Luckily for the reporter, there was no armed confrontation in the raids he participated in. The culprits were caught unawares and some of them scampered into the forest once the security men stormed the site. Such people were however, immediately hunted down by the security operatives.
In virtually all the communities in the nine oil-producing states, operations of illegal refineries are the same. The reporter found his way into about four of them and discovered that they do business almost the same way. Some of the communities where oil pipeline vandalism and illegal refineries hold sway in Delta State include Ogbebiri, Itskebe, Opuama, Okerenkoko, Oporoza, Forcados, Odimodi, Burnt, Siokebolo, Opuede, Batan, Odidi1 and 2, Ogulagha, Jones creek, Obotebe, Ogbe-ijaw, isaba, ugborode, Yeye, Ekeremor, Yokri, Npa boloma, Warri river, Egwa1 and 2, Itsekiri axis, Urhobo axis, Isoko axis, Ndokwa axis, Nkwani axis and the state’s OFSCL headed by Mr. Kestin Pondi, Tompolo’s nephew, cover these areas. For Bayelsa, Igbeta-Ewooama, Iwokiri, Nembe and Sabaturo top the list of notorious areas where vandals and other oil thieves operate.
In Rivers State the communities that have earned notoriety for oil theft include Onne, Krakrama-Bille, Bodo in Ogoniland, Awoba Riser, and Ekulama among others.
While Ngwa, Ovim and Umuahia are communities where the crimes thrive in eastern states.
Checks by the reporter further revealed that operators of the illegal refineries often steal the crude oil from facilities owned by oil multinationals, especially flow lines and wellheads in the onshore and near-shore Niger Delta. A powerful and well-connected syndicate that specialises in the stealing of crude through illegal bunkering and pipeline vandalisation, sponsors the business. The syndicate, it was gathered, comprises the locals, allegedly backed by security agents and highly placed government officials, and this explains why the various security operatives such as oil facility surveillance teams, JTF, Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, the police arm of the nation’s oil and gas industry, have not been able to halt the thriving crude oil theft and thus, it appears the racket is unstoppable.
As a senior official of the DPR admitted, “The business of oil theft is a big time business that flourishes because it is backed by the high and mighty in the society. The oil thieves themselves are usually armed while those escorting them are armed to the teeth. For our men, the DPR, we are not armed. So, how do we confront the oil thieves?” Checks also revealed that the difficulties the oil thieves are having in recent times taking the oil out of the country have forced them to resort to building makeshift refineries and their crudely ‘refined’ fuel and other by-products are sold to the unsuspecting public through their “retailers” in some fuel stations and black markets across the country.
How the black gold is stolen
This newspaper found that those vandalising the pipelines could not be mere illiterate and inexperienced locals, as the task of doing the damage ultimately requires a sound knowledge of some technical skills. A man introduced to the reporter by informants in Warri, who simply identified himself as Abulu and claimed to have worked with a major oil company in Delta State before joining the surveillance company told the reporter the oil thieves could not have been able to break into a high pressure pipeline, steal crude and seal it up again if they are not technically sound with deep knowledge of the system. Abulu said: “These people are not minions. Oil theft is not an operation for poor people; it requires a lot of logistics and other technical knowledge to be able to steal oil from high pressure pipelines,”
To confirm Abulu’s position, checks by the reporter on the strategies employed by the vandals revealed that there are two main methods of stealing crude oil from the various pipelines across the oil producing states in the country. These are identified as Hot tapping and Cold tapping in bunkering parlance. Each method requires a certain level of technical skills and understanding of the system. In “hot tapping” the oil thieves rip open an oil pipeline, using either a welding machine or a hacksaw.
Hot tapping, it was gathered, is when a branch connection is created through a pipeline in which the oil is flowing through. From there, a rubber hose is inserted into the oil-gushing hole and clamped with a valve. When the oil thieves are done, they close the valve for subsequent operations. If undetected, the siphoning business would go on for days or weeks until the supply source to the pipeline runs out. ‘Cold tapping’ method requires that the oil bunkering gangs blow up a pipeline, using a dynamite or any other explosives, as such they put the pipeline out of use long enough for them to attach their spur pipeline. This means that the oil thieves must have a fore knowledge of when the relevant oil company shuts up supply to the pipeline, so they could blow the pipeline.
Although both methods are extremely risky, experts say that the latter is a task for the lion-hearted, as explosions and/or inferno is often the consequence, especially when adequate intelligence gathering by the gang was not made to know when the oil company shuts down the supply of crude or refined oil through the high pressure pipeline before blowing it up.
How government, oil companies can eradicate oil thievery
Since they directly feel the pains of the menace and carry the scars of its debilitating affects, the reporter sought the opinions of some indigenes of the oil producing communities visited. In varying responses, they proffer solutions to the problem of pipeline vandalism and illegal refineries, registered their displeasure at what they called government’s insentivity to their plight and gave knocks on the oil companies for allegedly neglecting them. Here are the responses.
For Fred Brisibe of Burutu local government area, Delta State, employment creation could be the magic wand by the government: “The government can tackle these problems by first providing massive employment opportunities for the people. I am in support of this surveillance company that have been commissioned to protect the oil facilities because it creates an opportunity for the locals, especially the youths to be employed even if such employment has not spread to others. A man that is getting N50, 000 or N100, 000 every month would be dissuaded from getting involved in vandalizing the facility. I also want the surveillance companies to be further strengthened to do their job. I can recall one or two instances that the surveillance team and officials of the JTF arrested some culprits. They are doing their best but I think the government should further encourage them to further make progress. There is a case of a culprit caught in the act of vandalizing an oil pipeline of Beneisede filling station and when he was asked to give reasons for his actions, he said that he had to do so that because he was hungry and had to do something to survive.”
In Prince Evah’s opinion, it should be local vigilante groups to the rescue: “ The work would be equally easier to do and be done effectively if government employs the service of the locals to protect the facility. The government could recruit local vigilante groups in our communities. The groups have done well in stemming the tide of insecurity in the villages and they know the criminals there. Many of them already serve as informants to government security operatives like the JTF and the surveillance companies. If there is any incidence of armed robbery or vandalism they know where to track the culprits because they are natives of the creeks. There is an urgent need on the part of the government to renew the contracts they have signed with the oil facility surveillance companies on time so that the menace of illegal refineries, oil pipeline vandalisation and theft would be stopped in the region.”
Blaming the government and the oil companies for insensitivity to the plight of host communities, Evah said: “When there was oil spill in the gulf of Mexico we know how one of the oil companies which also has its subsidiary in Nigeria promptly took care of it because the Americans were on its management’s neck, but in our own case in Nigeria, you would wait for these same oil companies for months, even almost a year before they reluctantly respond to incident of oil spillage in our communities. For over twenty years now we began to witness the incidents of oil pipeline vandalism, spillage and illegal refineries, and gas flaring, there hasn’t been a good life in the communities, the water, soil and entire ecosystem has been polluted and given way for a life daily lived in grief, suffering and sorrow.
In those days we could stay in the water for hours, playing, we could open our eyes in the water but you dare not try now that and not go blind, because the water has become black and poisonous.”
Abiye Ebi in Nembe, Bayelsa State
Believes that a revisit of the negotiation between representatives and oil companies and the government is a must: “ We have to revisit our negotiation with Shell and other oil companies exploring our oil in the communities. Today, there are common cases of high mortality rate, deformities, sicknesses, poverty and other absurdities occasioned by the damage done to our ecosystem. In Beneseide filling station in Ojobo, for example, the gas flaring is up to human level, and that is dangerous to human life. That obtains in virtually all the villages, some. Of which include odimodi, burnt, siokebolo, igoba, opuede, batan, odidi1 and 2, ogulagha, Jones creek, and obotebe.
Through some research I carried out on my own, I have discovered that the hospital in these areas daily receive hundreds of our people with diverse ailments caused by the pollution of the ecosystem. The issue is not even about what our governor will do for us on this matter but what the oil companies benefiting from our oil would do. Their corporate social responsibilities to our communities. If one of the major oil companies here in Nigeria could reconstruct a stadium and do other wonderful corporate social responsibility in South Africa, then I wonder why in our shore the same oil company neglect us. Could it be that our government, who are supposed to hold these oil companies responsible for their corporate social responsibilities for us, have comprised? That is why many of us in the Niger still strongly believe in the Kayama declaration that demands, among other things, that we should practise true federalism by allowing the people of the Niger Delta to control their resources. I think it is high time; the Ijaw nation comes together to take a decision. This is because if Oloibiri, the first place where oil was discovered in the country could be left fallow like that and the government turned its back on it, it simply send a warning signal that any of the presently oil producing communities could also become another Oloibiri tomorrow: Raped and abandoned like an old prostitute. Then, we must act now.”
Funkeme Akibe in Onne, Port Harcourt also has this to say:” We admire the courage of the likes of Tompolo, Asari, Boyloaf and others but we don’t want them to relax yet because the battle is not yet over. Our future, the youths are wasting away through starvation, illiteracy, ignorance and poverty.”
No oil pipeline vandalisatoon in my commmunity-Emenike Cornelius, Umuahia, Abia state.
“Although the factors that are responsible for oil pipeline vandalization are in my community but because of the level of enlightenment and orientation we have we haven’t gone into the crime. But in our neighbouring communities, such illegalities happen. People take the laws into their hands to vandalize the pipelines to have access to.