The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mele Kyari, on Tuesday, accused security agents, religious leaders and residents of the site of Monday pipeline explosion in Abule Egba area of Lagos of culpability in the oil pipeline sabotage.
Kyari, who spoke on a television programme in Abuja, said there was a huge conspiracy of silence among stakeholders and residents in the area and that had been encouraging increasing pipeline vandalisation in that axis.
He said: “There is a huge conspiracy of silence by everybody. Those who have responsibility to protect these pipelines keep quiet and keep silent. Those who watch this happen and indeed, I was shocked when we went to the site of the last incident, very proximate. There was a big church and a big mosque around the scene of the blast.
“It means those worshippers at those locations, or the leadership of these two worship houses, are aware that this is happening. It is quite tragic that we can watch this and nobody bothers to report, looking at all the dangers associated with this act.
“It is not just about losing petroleum products, or causing the challenge to national energy security, but above all, lives are lost. Indeed, what they are doing would have translated to the loss of thousands of lives in that location and everybody watches it as if it is a normal thing that is going on.”
The NNPC GMD decried the activities of pipeline vandals whose nefarious act torched parts of the Corporation’s pipeline network and claimed the lives and properties of innocent Nigerians.
He disclosed that the NNPC was collaborating with all security agencies in the country to curb the pipeline vandalism across the country, noting that as part of measures to mitigate the incidences of pipeline vandalism, the Corporation planned to deplore Horizontal Directional Drilling Technology, (HDDT) to check the act.