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NNPC pipeline explosion in Akwa Ibom: Fear heightens as children are declared missing

Sunday (July 24, 2016) night brought another horrific experience to Obotim Nsit, Nsit-Ibom council area of Akwa Ibom as the destructive Niger Delta Avengers (NDA) struck a Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) gas pipeline in the area around 11:30pm which led to the disappearance of many children.

Just like the previous attacks on other oil and gas facilities, the group released a statement confirming the attack, this time, sneering at  Exxon Mobil :  “11:30pm on Sunday, the NDA blew up Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), gas pipeline at Nsit-Ibom L.G.A, Akwa Ibom state. NNPC should check their pipeline if it’s ‘system Anomaly’.”

It is happening few days after the group claimed to have carried out an attack on one of Exxon Mobil’s facility which the company debunked and described as just a ‘system Anomaly’

Residents in the Nsit-Ibom council area are still perplexed as there are reported cases of missing children. Chief Akponidung Akpan Ukpong, a village head confirmed this saying: “So many children are missing and we are still looking for them; we have not traced them and many people were taken to the hospital.”

Most of the missing children, out of fear, fled for safety – but have since been away from home and with anxious parents worried about their whereabouts.

Mr. Victor Umondak in a regretful tone utterly condemned the attack as it has brought stagnancy to the community, fears to the parents and destruction of the farm lands.

According to Akwa Ibom state commissioner of police, Mr. Murtala Mani, no casualty was recorded at the time of inspection. Mr Murtala, contrary to NDA’s statement, emphasized he was of the opinion that the occurrence was due to technical issues and not affiliated to the Niger Delta Avenger as asserted.

The Police boss said: “It is confirmed that there is an explosion in Obotim Nsit in Nsit Ibom Local Government Area of the state. People from the pipeline confirmed that the pipelines are old and overdue for servicing. There are technical problems in the gas pipeline. This is no militancy attack; our men are on ground and the fire service has put off the fire.”

The attack was a fiercely explosive one though no death was recorded. The most recent attack in Akwa Ibom similar to this was the one that occurred on June 16 at in Oruk Anam Local Government Area, Ikot Osutek.


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