The Senate has described the return of militancy in the Niger Delta region as disheartening.
Chairmen of four committees of the Senate including committees on Gas, Petroleum (downstream and upstream) and Media and Public Affairs stated this, on Thursday, at a press briefing in Abuja.
Chairman Senate Committee on Petroleum (Upstream), Senator Tayo Alasoadura, who read the position paper of the committee, said that the activities of the vandals who blew up the pipelines should be condemned in their entirety.
Alasoadura declared: “It is very disheartening that at a time when all hands should be on deck to revive the economy and ensure the survival of the country, some people could decide at this point in time in the history of the nation to further sabotage the efforts of the present administration to bring some sanity into our country.
“It is therefore apt for the Senate to condemn strongly and make an ambiguous statement about this dastardly act that portends to send the hands of the clock backwards.”
He noted that “this sabotage has led to the shutting down of two refineries that had just started working few months ago.
The militants, he said should give respite to Nigerians “so that we can see some governance.”
He added, “It is not good enough for an administration to be fighting one war there and they are waging another there, when will he have time to govern? So please help us appeal to them so that Nigeria can move forward.”
He appealed to the militants to stop “this mindless act by giving Nigerians necessary respite to allow this present administration to stem the tide of poverty and want ravaging our people.”
Chairman Senate Committee on Gas, Senator Albert Bassey Akpan noted that the explosion affected major gas pipelines in the country.
Akpan said that the committee on Gas had invited the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the Nigerian Gas Company (NGC) who explained that the country will lose over 200 million score of cubic feet of gas on a daily basis with low supply of electricity.
He said, “This is the gas terminal that supplies Egbin and most of the NIPP along the South Western region of this country.
“In a period where we are grappling with the challenges of domestic gas supply, we believe very strongly that the act of vandalism should be condemned.”
Vice Chairman, Senate Committee on Petroleum (downstream) Senator Barau Jibrin, said that members of the committee are highly worried about the development especially when two refineries that recently came on stream had to be shut down.
Jibrin said that Nigerians should appeal to those behind the act of sabotage to stop their unpatriotic act in the interest and well being of country.
He commended the assurance of the NNPC to restore normalcy as soon as possible.