Leadership (Abuja)

19 February 2013

Nigeria: NNPC Demolishes Illegal Structures Along its Pipeline at Arepo in Ogun

The NNPC, on Tuesday in Arepo Village, Ogun, demolished all illegal structures constructed along its pipelines' right of way, the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports.

NAN also reports that the affected structures include shops, fences, street gates, block industries, welder workshops and churches.

Armed soldiers and other security officials, including those of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), were seen supervising the exercise.

Also, some people whose properties were affected were seen removing the debris, while others were seen in groups discussing the development.

Farmers who planted cassava plant along the route were also seen removing them pre-maturedly.

An official of the NNPC, who spoke to NAN on condition of anonymity, noted that the exercise was as a result of the pipeline explosion that killed over 30 suspected petroleum pipeline vandals in the area recently.

It would be recall that Dr Ade Abolurin, Commandant General, NSCDC, recommended the demolition of the structures to curb incessant explosions caused by vandals.

Ogun State Commandant, NSCDC, Mr Aboluwoye Ebenezer, said that the exercise started on Monday, adding that his men were fully on ground to monitor the situation.

. Pastor Remi Johnson, Celestial Church of Christ, whose church was affected, told NAN that they were not aware that their structure was close to the NNPC's right of way.

"When we bought this place, we were told that the pipeline was far from us. We are not happy that part of our church was demolished.

"There is nothing we can do. The main people that caused this problem are the vandals.

"The government should go after the vandals, who are destroying the NNPC pipes, " Johnson said.

A dry cleaner, whose shop was pulled down, Mr Etim Epko, said that they were not angry with the government, rather, they were vexed with the vandals that exposed them to the current problem.

"We will still manage the remaining part of the shop for our business. We were only given two weeks' notice of the demolition exercise.

"We never knew there was NNPC pipeline when we bought this plot, " Ekpo said. NAN

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