Unknown gunmen on Wednesday kidnapped five ExxonMobil staff at its Floating Storage and Offloading Vessel (FSO) at the Qua Iboe Terminal Ibeno in Akwa Ibom State, reports say.
According to a witness who spoke to journalists on the condition that his name will not be published, said that five indigenous personnel who were working offshore at the FSO were kidnapped by the gunmen suspected to be militants and were taken to an unknown destination.
Following the kidnapping, troops have been drafted to the area to secure the workers. However, fear of further attacks by the militants have made the management of ExxonMobil and workers result to resuming late to work.
The source further said that since the kidnapping the management now shut down production by 1p.m
“They are scared that the militants will attack them again. Since they kidnapped five oil workers at the offshore, they are thinking that they might attack them at onshore that is why they shutdown the production,” he said.
The source said that security had advised ExxonMobil management to bring all the vessels together to avert further kidnapping of personnel by the militants in the area.
“Any vessel that is actively working, Mobil should now have three anchorages so that those vessels will be under security watch.
“Each of the anchorages will not stand close to each other so that they can have security watch in order to forestall militancy coming close to the vessel,” he said.
Tension heightened following last weekend’s election loss of President Goodluck Jonathan to Gen Muhammadu Buhari, as insinuations ahead of the elections that ex-militants in the Niger Delta may return to the creeks was given credence by former militant leader, Asari-Dokubo.
“The conditions that advanced the need to embrace the creeks have been sadly re-energised, it is clear that a vicious government who may maim and murder the voice of the so called minorities may have just been birthed.
“Indeed integration is nonexistent as regional gang ups and supremacy is symbolic with this victory,” Asari-Dokubo said.