Avengers, Tompolo disown alleged bombers in DSS custody
The Niger Delta Avengers, NDA, yesterday, denied that two suspects, Christian Oluba, alias Sensor, and Selky Kile Torughedi, arrested by the Department of Security Service, DSS, in connection with foiled attacks on oil facilities in the Niger Delta, were its members.
In addition, fugitive ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, allegedly identified by Torughedi, according to the DSS, as the person that sent him to kill a serving army officer, Major M.B Yahaya, said the claim was a farce.
The DSS, had, last Friday, said it arrested Torughedi, described as a close associate of Tompolo in Calabar, Cross River State, after he had carried out reconnaissance on the home of Yahaya in Kaduna, while Sensor was seized as he was allegedly perfecting plans to carry out attacks on oil and gas pipelines, including storage points.
The security agency said both suspects were members of the NDA and that it foiled fresh plans by militants to attack oil pipelines in the region by arresting the masterminds.
Avengers, in a statement, by its spokesperson, self-styled Brig Gen Mudoch Agbinibo, said:
“Reports that two suspects, Mr Christian Oluba, alias Sensor, and Selky Kile Torughedi, arrested by DSS, are alleged members of Niger Delta Avengers is laughable. The fact is that they are sleeper agents of the DSS sent after the Niger Delta Avengers.
“The boys has (sic) the right to demand for their money from DSS. Why not pay them instead of arresting and labeling them as Niger Delta Avengers members.
“If DSS is denying this, let them allow the suspects to speak to the press. We (Niger Delta Avengers) do not have any connection with these boys. We dare the DSS to allow the boys to tell the world their side of the story.
“DSS and Nigeria Army cannot win the Niger Delta war by feeding the President with false information about the situation of things in the region. It is all-good because, as it seems, the DSS is now having internal crisis with most of their sleeper agents and it is a sign that God is on our side.”
Crux of the matter
The group went on: “There are problem (sic) in the Niger Delta region such as underdevelopment, environmental degradation, lack of infrastructure and the issue of self-determination. These are the areas Mr. President should focus on, not arresting their allies and linking them to Niger Delta Avengers.
“This is to DSS Director Lawal Daura: This is the holy month of Ramadan and, as a Muslim, you hold it to Allah and the Nigeria people to say the truth. Why not come out with the truth?
“To the Nigeria press, there is always two sides to a story. Why not try to get the other side of the story by interviewing the boys?
“The Nigeria Army will never get us (Niger Delta Avengers). Let them go and settle with their sleeper agents and stop deceiving the general public and their President.”
‘DSS using people to frame Tompolo’
Tompolo, who spoke to Sunday Vanguard through his Media Consultant, Paul Bebenimibo, said he never at any time recruited Torughedi, also known as Young Shall Grow, to assassinate Major Yahaya as reported.
Bebenimibo asserted that Selky, who used to be close to Tompolo just as any other agitator involved in the Niger Delta struggle, was allegedly being used by the security agency to get at Tompolo.
“Apart from him, they are also using another ex-militant leader now. Like I said, I cannot tell you that Tompolo does not know Young Shall Grow. He definitely had met many of them with his position in the struggle. Some are his contemporaries, others are his boys, but that is not to say that he is in control of what they do,” he said.
“The first time they used him against Tompolo was shortly after ex-militants accepted amnesty in 2009. And if you know Tompolo, he is not the kind of person that goes for revenge, he leaves revenge for God. So I can tell you categorically that Tompolo did not send Selky to kill anybody.
“In 2006 when a Shell Petroleum Development Company, SPDC, representative was kidnapped at Letugbene in Bayesla State and Tompolo facilitated his release, nine of his boys who went on the rescue mission were killed by soldiers, who opened fire on them when they were returning. Tompolo as their leader did not seek to revenge.
“Also in 2009 when soldiers were hunting for him, they destroyed Gbaramatu Kingdom, he did not revenge. During the latest invasion of Oporoza, nobody fired a single shot at the soldiers that ransacked the town. So, what is he avenging against Major Yahaya that he would send somebody to Kaduna to kill him?”
Militants ‘suspend bombing of Bonga fields, others by two weeks’
Meanwhile, a militant group, which claimed to have replaced the NDA, Asawana Deadly Force of Niger Delta, ADFND, said, yesterday, that it had shifted “planned bombing of Bonga Oil and Gas Fields, as well as other strategic places in southern Nigeria”, which it slated for yesterday, by two weeks.
In a statement by its leader, self-styled Commander Olomubini Kakarakokoro, a.k.a No Mercy, the group said: “We want to tell Nigerians that our July 2 date for the bombing of Bonga Oil and Gas Fields, Asaba/Onitsha Bridge, Lagos Mainland Bridge and the homes of several corrupt Nigerians, has been shifted by two weeks.
“The reason for the shift is as a result of talks by the Presidency begging us to be patient for a while. But our warning to all users of the mentioned places remains valid. They should take note: We don’t mean to take any life but if need be we will. Our fight is for the development of the oil rich Niger Delta.
“We shall, at the expiry of the two weeks, also go after those people that call themselves leaders from the Niger Delta that have been betraying us. We will use them as example to the rest of the world if they don’t stop betraying us”.
IGP carries out aerial surveillance of creeks in Delta
In a related development, Acting Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, at the weekend, carried out an on-the-spot assessment of security situation in some flash points in the creeks of Delta State.
A statement from Force Headquarters said the visit came about because, “in recent times, some riverine communities in the Niger-Delta witnessed renewed militancy occasioned by pipeline and oil installations vandalization, thereby causing environmental and security challenges”.
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