There is palpable tension in Egbemoru community in the Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State over the burning of Agip Oil pipelines by some armed men.
The attack, according to reports, had to do with a battle over who takes control of the surveillance contracts being handled by a security company known as Dalong Security.
The attack on the Agip Trunk A pipeline route has led to the shutting down of other oil platforms along the Ogbeinbiri axis and others in the area to avoid fire outbreaks and heavy damage to the crude oil supply route in the area.
It was gathered that the armed men, suspected to be former militant leaders, led by one General Endurance, said to be allegedly involved in illegal bunkering and a supremacy battle with another former militant in Peremabiri community, is out take over oil pipeline security surveillance jobs in the area.
It was also gathered that the members of the Egbematoru community have reached out to the Joint Military Task Force, also known as Operation Delta Safe, to protect them from the militants.
“Yes, we have reported their activities to security agencies and we expect to nip their activities in the bud.
“Most members of the community are afraid to speak out. These boys engaged in sporadic shooting and they vandalised two Agip pipelines and set them ablaze close to the Beninkurukuru bush. The fire has led to the shutting down of some other facilities in the area,” a resident of the community said.
Another source in the community said the people of Egbematoru had dissociated themselves from the activities of Endurance and his men.
A senior JTF source, who confirmed the development on condition of anonymity, said the incident was being investigated by the Sector 2 command of the Joint Military Task Force in the state.
He added that they suspected tlsome people in the area of being involved in illegal bunkering activities.