Posted by By Bisi Olaniyi and Sola Adebayo on
The 16 Nigerian oil workers and eight soldiers held hostage by militant youths in Ogboinbiri, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of.....
The 16 Nigerian oil workers and eight soldiers held hostage by militant youths in Ogboinbiri, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, have been freed.
Their freedom on Sunday was facilitated by the Bayelsa State Government, which would on Monday (today) preside over a meeting between Agip and the representatives of Ogboinbiri.
Rifles seized from the soldiers were said to have been returned to them.
The youths had confined the oil workers and soldiers to the premises of the Ogboinbiri Flow Station of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company after shutting it on Wednesday.
When contacted on the telephone, the state’s Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Victor Akenge, declined comments, but one of his aides who preferred anonymity, confirmed the release of the oil workers and the soldiers.
The aide said that no ransom was paid to the youths before they vacated the flow station.
He, however, disclosed that the youths were given an assurance that their demands would be addressed.
The youths are demanding the signing of a new Memorandum of Understanding by Agip with their community; provision of basic amenities by Agip; award of contracts to the qualified indigenes.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Navy has deployed 11 ships in the Niger Delta to constantly patrol the waterways.
Also, the Navy has established four naval formations in the region to check crime in the area.
The Chief of Naval Staff, Vice-Admiral Ganiyu Adekeye, made these known in an interview with our correspondent.
He said, “We have expanded the number of ships and put the Navy back to the sea. Some for our officers have not gone to the sea for 14 years before I came on board and so their efficiency diminished.
“I inherited three ships and now we have sent 11 ships into the sea to maintain 24 hours surveillance at the sea.”
Adekeye explained that four new naval formations, code named, Forward Operation Bases, were established in the region, within the past one year.
The FOBs, according to him, are in Ibaka, Akwa Ibom State, Escravos, Delta State, Egeama, Bayelsa State; and Bonny, Rivers State.
He said that the welfare of officers and ratings were accorded priority in the past one year, adding that 120 officers and 141 ratings had been sent on short courses abroad to enhance service delivery.
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