Militants have blown up another crude pipeline belonging to the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in the oil-rich region of Niger Delta. A youth protest leader claimed on Thursday that the damaged pipeline was still on fire.
He also said protesters, who comprised mostly of unemployed youths, were continuing a demonstration, which had started on Tuesday, at the gate of a Chevron oil depot to demand jobs and housing, claiming the facility had destroyed their settlement.
“Our protest is going on peacefully today on Thursday. Our community workers inside the tank farm have joined the protest as we speak,” Collins Edema said. “Nobody is going in and out of the facility since we’ve started but Chevron has airlifted their senior staff from there,” he said.
Chevron confirmed a protest had taken place but did not say whether oil production had been affected. Edema said the protesters might shut down Chevron’s crude flow in Abiteye, Jones Creek and other operations in the area if the company does not agree to their demands.
Meanwhile, a newly-formed militant group, the Niger Delta Greenland Justice Mandate (NDGJM), claimed late on Wednesday that it had struck a pipeline in Urhobo in the restive Delta region the previous day. The spokesman of the militant group had warned that the NDGJM would attack oil installations of the country, calling on multinational companies “to evacuate their personnel.” A security source confirmed that there had been a dynamite attack on the Uzere-Eriemu pipelinein Delta state.
The oil installations in the Niger Delta have come under attack by local militants for decades. The militants say they want a greater share of Nigeria’s oil wealth, which accounts for around 70 percent of national income, to be distributed in the impoverished region. They also demand the areas polluted by oil spills to be cleaned up.