The Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND) has taken responsibility for the fire explosion that occurred at the refinery jetty of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at Okrika, Rivers State, on Sunday morning.
Seven persons were reported to have been killed in the fire incident, while several others suffered severe degrees of burns.
MEND also debunked the claim that the arson was perpetrated by some oil pipeline vandals, saying that it was carried out by some of its fighters and aided by some of its agents within and among the NNPC staff.
The group made this known in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Jomo Gbomo and made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt, on Monday, saying the attack was in line with its ongoing operation, codenamed “Hurricane Exodus.”
According to him, the attack, intended to bring down the entire refining facility at the jetty, was made possible by the infiltration of the facility by some MEND fighters, aided by some internal agents within NNPC.
“This facility was infiltrated by a few of our fighters with the aid of our internal agents within the NNPC, contrary to speculations that the sabotage was carried out by pipeline vandals and oil thieves, which is a very convenient phrase used in shielding the truth from the public.
“Thorough investigations will reveal bomb fragments are the same used in the Warri Refinery explosion of Tuesday, October 22, 2013.
“We will persist with our attacks on the Nigerian oil industry due to the inaction of President Goodluck Jonathan who continues to rely on an unsustainable and fraudulent Niger Delta amnesty programme.
“The entire amnesty process is a fraud on the people of Nigeria, who are being promised peace in the Niger Delta in the absence of justice. Hurricane Exodus is still on course,” he said.