The military says it has begun the deployment of troops in Delta State to apprehend those who attacked oil facilities in the state recently.
The Joint Task Force (JTF) described the Friday attack in Warri South-West local government area of Delta State as economic sabotage.
The JTF Commander of Operation Pulo Shield in the Niger Delta, Major-General Alani Okunola, said that the task force is closing in on those blowing up oil pipelines belonging to the Nigeria Gas Company, Chevron Nigeria Limited and Nigeria National Petroleum Company, NNPC.
While inspecting the site of the pipeline explosion, Major-General Okunola also warned community leaders that they would be held responsible for any attack on the country’s oil and gas facilities in their domains.
“There is no way we will fold our hands and allow the criminals to get away with it.
“It is a massive sabotage and critical to national assets; we must fish out those responsible for it.”
He described the act as not only criminal but capable of undermining the national security of Nigeria, adding that the pipeline vandals were able to carry out the act only because there were no men of the JTF on ground in the area.
The JTF boss visited the explosion site in company of the Brigade Commander, Farouk Yahaya and the Commander, 3 Battalion, Igwe Omoke.
Other top ranking officers of the Police, Navy, Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and Air Force were part of the inspection team.