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The Nigerian Navy said it has arrested a militant kingpin, who is described as the coordinator of the recent attacks on the facilities of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation and oil giant, Chevron, in Delta State.
Briefing journalists while parading the suspects at the Naval Base, Warri, on Tuesday, Commander, Nigerian Navy Ship Delta, Comm. Riami Muhammed, said his men also arrested another militant leader who allegedly spearheaded last week’s attack on the SPDC’s 48-inch crude pipeline in Forcados.
The militants’ leader, whose name was not disclosed for security reasons, was said to illegally operate about 35 abandoned oil well heads and crude oil pipelines in Okpoko and Obodo creeks in the Warri South-West Local Government Area of Delta State.
Mohammed said the suspects were arrested in collaboration with other security agencies, arguing that the arrest would reduce attacks by the Niger Delta militants.
It was not clear if the arrested suspects could be members of the new militant group, the Niger Delta Avengers.
The commander added, “After several weeks of persistent efforts, the Nigerian Navy, in collaboration with other security agencies, has arrested the main coordinator of the attacks on the NNPC and the Chevron oil and gas facilities that we have witnessed since May 4, 2016, with the attack on the Chevron Okan Valve platform, offshore Escravos.
“You are aware of the recent series of attacks on oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta and in Delta State, for which some groups or persons have claimed responsibilities. The Nigerian Navy and other security agencies have been doing their best to curtail these attacks.”
He noted that his men were not just after members of the Niger Delta Avengers but everyone suspected to be responsible for the recent attacks on oil facilities in the region.