Exactly a week after a 7-day ultimatum by militants on ExxonMobil to relocate headquarters to Akwa Ibom, the state police command has arrested three suspected militants with explosive devices.
The suspects, Nelson Seimiyefa (m), 34, from Bayelsa, Victor William (M), 34, from Etinan, Akwa Ibom and Nsebong Dickson (m), 38, from Eket, Akwa Ibom were arrested in a hotel in Eket.
Addressing newsmen yesterday in Uyo, the Commissioner of Police, CP, Muhammad Mani said the suspects were planning to attack oil and gas pipelines in the state.
“The suspects were arrested with two high powered IED bombs measured at 60/8.5cm+ 44/5.5cm, one long single high powered propel launcher bomb measured at 78/4.5cm. The explosive devices are capable of destroying from any length and height, any high pressured power or oil pipe line facility and human beings”. Mani, who was represented by the Police Public Relations Officer,PPRO, Cordelia Nwaiwe, said other items recovered, according to the state police boss included a battery to enable current initiation for explosion. The batteries, according to Mani, were wrapped with red fabrics.
The CP said the arrest was made through an intelligence tip off and reiterated his avowed commitment to rid the state of all forms of criminality and any form of renewed militancy.
“The three young men would tell you what they were doing in Akwa Ibom. We found them at the Eket axis. Three of them were actually planning to vandalise pipelines in Akwa Ibom”.
“The police will continue to be proactive as I promise to keep Akwa Ibom safe. At the expense of our lives, we will continue to do our best to ensure safety of the people” he said.
“We will make sure that we stock you back on your tracks. Our anti-robbery, the SAS section, anti-kidnapping have clear directives to make sure that people who do not go about legal businesses are found.”
He, however, charged members to the public to report suspected movements around them to the police for prompt and necessary investigation and action, adding that the fight towards a crime free state must continue to be collective.
In his reactions, one of the suspected militants, Nelson Seimiyefa from Bayelsa State admitted to have been an ex-militant, but however, denied ‎the allegation of intention to attack, and claimed to have been arrested in error.
“I came to Eket to see my girlfriend, we have been dating for sometime now and have only been talking on phone, she is the woman I want to marry so I decided to come and meet her for the first time, we lodged in that hotel, I am a child of God and have no further business with militancy” Seimiyefa said.
The suspects who all claimed to have been arrested in error said they were victims of mass arrest and wondered why only three out of the number arrested were paraded, with veils on their faces.
It would be recalled that a new militant group in the Niger Delta “Oyobio-Oyobio” had a fortnight ago given Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited a seven-day ultimatum to relocate its headquarters to Akwa Ibom or face dire consequences.
This ultimatum was contained in a release signed by one of its officials General Obuma and made available to newsmen in Ibeno Local Council Area of Akwa Ibom last weekend.
According to the release, “We the Niger Delta Militants known as OYOBIO-OYOBIO hereby give a 7-day ultimatum to Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited and other Oil Firms operating in Akwa Ibom to relocate their headquarters to the state or face dire consequences.
“We have the capability to burn down any tank farm and bring down aeroplanes and choppers. Oil and Gas Pipelines will not be spared during our operations” the statement said.

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