Niger Delta militants on Thursday blew up two extra oil pipelines in Bayelsa State, threatening to bring oil production in the country to a halt.
A militant group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers, which has claimed responsibility for most of the attacks since the beginning of the year, said it had attacked two crude pipelines operated by Italy’s oil major Eni.
“At about 2:00am today @NDAvengers blew up the Ogboinbiri to Tebidaba and Clough Creek to Tebidaba crude oil pipelines in Bayelsa State,” the group said on its Twitter handle.
“This is in line with our promise to all international oil companies and indigenous oil companies that Nigeria’s oil production will be zero,” the group added.
The NDA had on Wednesday blown up two facilities belonging to Chevron Nigeria Limited, making it the fourth time the oil major’s assets would be attacked in less than a month.
President Muhammadu Buhari cancelled at the last minute a visit planned for Thursday to the region.
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo made the trip in Buhari’s place to launch a clean-up programme in an area badly hit by oil spills, vowing to work with community leaders to end militant attacks.
No reason has been given for the cancellation of what would have been Buhari’s first visit to the region since taking office a year ago. Western allies and local officials have told the former military chief he needs to address poverty and oil pollution in the Delta to stop unrest, according to Reuters.
“We are determined to put right the wrongs of the past, where the people of this land were treated unfairly and the environment unduly polluted and degraded,” Osinbajo said in a speech in the town of Bodo in the polluted Ogoniland area.
“The clean-up of this land will require change on the part of all those who deal with the Niger Delta environment, particularly the oil companies and our communities,” he said.