The 2 Brigade of the Nigerian Army, Port Harcourt, said Monday that suspected cultists have destroyed a pipeline belonging to the Nigeria Agip Oil Company.
A statement issued yesterday evening, by the Assistant Director, Army Public Relations, Captain Eli Lazarus, said the incident occurred in the early hours of Sunday, February 7, at Agip’s gas facility in Akala Olu village in Oshie community, Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State, thereby disrupting production activities.
The army further said the vandals were suspected members of Icelander cult group.
According to the statement, the vandals had threatened to carry out further acts of vandalism, unless their demands were met.
Captain Lazarus added: “The group demanded for the release of a detained suspect-one Mr. Emmanuel Odum, currently undergoing interrogation in connection with pipeline vandalism and cult-related activities.
“I wish to state categorically that, 2 Brigade will not be cowed into doing the bidding of any criminal group.
“For the avoidance of doubt, anyone caught destroying such critical national asset will be severely dealt with in accordance with the law.”
The 2 Brigade alleged that some politicians armed the youths thereby backing them to perpetrate criminal activities in the state.
The army also warned that it would deal decisively with any person or group behind the sabotage done to the Nigerian economy, adding that any attempt to disrupt the forthcoming rerun elections in the state would receive dire consequences.
“Additionally, it is now known that some politicians are arming these groups and encouraging them with inciting comments to breach public peace.
“No one should be in doubt of the capacity of the military to deal decisively with such persons. If anyone is caught breaching public peace, particularly during the forthcoming elections, such person or persons should have themselves to blame.
“Already, some suspected patrons and sponsors of these criminal groups are being closely monitored by security agencies.”
Lazarus appealed to the public to assist the Brigade with relevant information that could help in arresting such criminals.