Mr Segun Olulade, a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, and the Coordinator of Oodua People’s Congress (OPC), Gani Adams, on Thursday condemned the gruesome killing of nine Department of State Security operatives by suspected pipeline vandals in Isawo, Ikorodu, Lagos.
Olulade of the APC and representing Epe 2, described the killing in a statement he signed and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), as “gruesome and wicked”.
NAN recalls that the incident occurred on Tuesday night at Konu, a border between Arepo in Ogun State and Ikorodu, Lagos State.
The DSS operatives were shot dead when they came to the area after being hinted that the vandals were siphoning fuel from a broken pipe of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
According to him, the activities of pipeline vandals are gradually becoming a threat to the state.
“The activities of these pipeline vandals are beginning to pose great danger to the lives of Nigerians, especially, those residing in areas where petroleum pipelines are located.
“The police and other relevant security agencies must swing into action by commencing investigation into these recent killings and those that happened before now.
“Relevant security agencies, especially the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), Solomon Arase, must rise up to the occasion.
“They must ensure the commencement of full investigation into the killing of the DSS operatives and policemen who were killed last month,” he said.
The lawmaker, however, urged security agencies to be very careful and ensure that innocent residents were not harassed or victmised during investigations.
He also urged residents of areas where illegal bunkering was prevalent to cooperate with the Police and provide necessary information that would help in apprehending these perpetrators.
He commiserated with the DSS over the loss and prayed that God grant the families of the victims the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Similarly, Adams, in a statement signed by Mr Yinka Oguntimehin, the OPC’s Director of Media and Publicity, and made available to newsmen in Lagos, described the vandals’ action as “highly condemnable’’.
It said that the act was brazen in its criminality and injurious to the national psyche and only perpetrated by sub-human beings who were not fit to live.
The statement said it was sad that some miscreants, being financed by a deadly oil mafia, had ended the lives and brilliant careers of the DSS personnel.
“The death of the bright nine DSS operatives though sad and sorrowful, is a testimony to the fact that the war against pipeline vandals and protection of our common wealth should not be localised within the confines of the regular security agents alone.
“This unfortunate event should kindle our sense of perception and reasoning and task patriotic feeling in us to always treat national issues without sentiment.
“The government must realise that oil pipeline vandalism has grown from being a past time of petty and tiny miscreants of the society.
“It is has assumed an organised high level criminality dimension being controlled by powerful and blood-thirsty mafia who cannot be dislodged solely by the regular security agencies.
“This is a pointer to the fact that the war against pipeline vandalism should not be restricted to the regular armed forces.
“As it is, the government should confront this dare devilry act of pipeline vandalism by involving both the regular armed agencies and the socio-cultural groups which have been tried and successfully monitored the pipelines without major calamity and waste of human resources like this,” it said.
The statement further urged the Federal Government to set up a dual joint action task-force, including e the regular security agencies and the socio-cultural groups to combat the deadly activities of pipeline vandals.
It commiserated with the nation over the death of the operatives and tasked the security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the gruesome murder.