Elders and youths of Igbomotoru community in Southern Ijaw local government area of Bayelsa State and a company hired by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) to prevent crude oil theft in the state, Darlon Oil and Gas Limited are involved in exchange of words over the alleged involvement of the operatives of the Nigerian Army in the attack and killing of three youths of the community.
The community through its lead counsels, Barr. Stanley Amabide and Prof. Festus Emiri (SAN) and the acting paramount ruler of the community, Chief Goodluck Alagodei accused the Nigerian Army and the management of the Darlon Oil and Gas company of conniving to invade their community on the 22nd of June, 2022 and also engaged in series of arrest and killings of youths between February, 2018 and March, 2021 over allegation of illegal crude oil bunkering.
The security surveillance company, Darlon Oil and Gas Limited, through its chairman, Chief Levi Wilson, described as unfortunate and malicious the repeated claims by the community that the company is involved in the stationing of a military base in Igbomotoru communities to intimidate, maim and kill residents of the community.
Wilson said, “We wish to also warn those involved in attempts to tarnish the image of our company to desist forthwith, as the management of Darlon Oil and Gas Limited will not hesitate to take legal actions against the sponsors and actors of this unfortunate mudslinging campaign. We wish to use this medium to inform the general public that the said involvement of our management or staff in the military operation at Igbomotoru Community is not only false but a figment of the imagination of some sponsors of crude oil bunkering activities who would stop at nothing but to tarnish the image of our company and put us out of the way so that they can go about vandalizing crude oil facilities.
“This clarification becomes necessary because our mandate is not to carry out military operations against crude oil thieves but to discourage pipeline vandalism and crude oil bunkering activities. And in carrying out this mandate, our target is to boost crude oil productivity for Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and the federal government of Nigeria which will in turn increase the revenue of the state and federal government.”