Authorities of the Nigerian Navy has weekend confirmed the armed invasion of the Auntie Julie ConOil production platform offshore in Sangana/ Koluama communities of Southern Ijaw and Brass local government areas of Bayelsa state.
It was gathered that the gunmen, numbering 15, were reported to have arrived the platform at about 4.30am with the assistance of the early morning dew, took over the ConOil production platform in the wee hour of Wednesday January 9.
According to security sources, the gunmen, coming with several speed boats in scores of militants members allegedly demanded to sign Memorandum of Understanding MoU with the management of ConOil which is among their top demands from the indigenous oil firm.
The militants, who were suspected to be members of the group known as Seven Koluama Brothers, reportedly disarmed security agents on duty at the ConOil offshore platform as part of effort to press on their demands.
It was gathered that the duo of ex-militant leader, Pastor Reuben Wilson also known as General Pastor Reuben and a former Local Government Chairman of Brass Local Government Council, Hon. Bello Bina intervened and prevailed on the boys to vacate the platform.
The Commander of the NNS Soroh, Navy Captain Felix Esekhile , who confirmed the development yesterday in telephone however said ” they only came for protest like it happened around Shell and other oil companies for on issues of MOU with Conoil”.
“We intervened into the agitation and no production was grind to a halt non any workers or security at the platform taken hostage. The platform is up and running as we speak,” Soroh, Commander NNS
Ex-militant leader, Pastor Reuben Wilson, also confirmed the development and said “the boys have be persuaded to leave the platform and they have left today. I did the negotiating with to give peace a chance and they obliged me “
It would be recalled that only last week the ConOil facility in Koluama area of Bayelsa State was purportedly attacked by some members of a group known as the Seven Koluama Brothers and the security agents quickly refuted the claim due to pressure from presidency.