As reported previously in the Pipeline Technology Journal, at least 150 people were killed and many more maimed in the wake of two pipeline explosions occurring in the Osisioma Local Government Area in Abia State in southeastern Nigeria. The ruptures have been attributed to vandals who have repeatedly attempted to breach the oil pipelines and scoop up the product.
This particular pipeline in the Osisioma area was violated 684 times in the last six months alone.
“Each time the pipeline is repaired, they resume their activities, even collaborating with security agents, who are reported to have set up toll gates collecting fees from the vandals," said Garba Shehu, Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity.
C.N. Enyeribe, a resident of the village next to the pipeline, said the villagers feel abandoned by the government and aid agencies: “At a point, I began to wonder if we were still part of Nigeria because since this incident occurred, we have not seen any of the intervention agencies like NEMA, Red Cross and the rest. No relief materials have been sent to the women who lost their husbands as a result of the incident.
President Buhari urged communities and state governments that host oil pipelines to be more vigilant and rise to combat the challenge posed by pipeline vandalism.