As calm returned to Osisioma Ngwa communities of Abia State following a fire incident last Friday, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has appealed to the host communities to help stem the spate of vandalism of oil pipeline.
A release yesterday in Abuja by NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said that preliminary reports of the fire incident which recorded some fatalities and loss of properties affirmed that the inferno resulted from the activities of vandals who had breached System 2Ex Pipeline Right of Way (PROW) in Ososioma.
The NNPC spokesperson explained that the confirmation of items such as jerrycans, among others, at the scene of the incident, by the report indicated that the activities of vandals in the area ignited the flame.
Ughamadu quoted the NNPC Group Managing Director, Dr. Maikanti Baru, as saying that the incessant vandalism of pipeline facilities along System 2Ex PROW has prevented the corporation from pumping fuel to the Enugu Depot which has remained underutilized despite its recent rehabilitation by the NNPC.
Dr. Baru lamented the loss of lives and properties in the inferno which occurred in the wee hours of Friday in Umuaduru and Umuimo communities both in Osisioma Ngwa, in Abia State.
The GMD appealed to host communities to collaborate with the corporation to tame oil pipeline vandalism in their areas.
Dr. Baru thanked the State fire servicemen and NNPC officials for their prompt response which rapidly brought the situation under control.