NSCDC arrests 11 pipeline vandals in Benue

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The Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps’ Anti-Vandal Unit apprehended 11 accused pipeline vandals near the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited depot in Apir, a suburb of Makurdi, the capital of Benue State.

The State Commandant of the corps, Yakubu Ibrahim, who disclosed this on Saturday said that following an intelligence report, the command dispatched its team to the area opposite the NNPCL depot at Apir.

Ibrahim said that the team discovered an illegal vandalisation of a NNPCL pipeline also known as the Yola line at the location.

Ibrahim said, “Eleven persons were apprehended at the crime site and they will be taken for questioning and profiling.”

While describing the activities of the vandals as an “act of terrorism,” the commandant said the destruction which stretches over 10km was an economic sabotage.

“This is my first time. I’ve never seen a thing like this before. It’s disheartening that these excavated pipelines which may have cost so much would be sold for pittance, indicative that the well-being of the Nigerian people was never in their consideration,” the commandant said.

Ibrahim expressed sadness over what he described as a “conspiracy of silence” by the residents and traditional rulers of the community near the scene of the incident. He, however, promised to investigate if they were found complicit.

Items recovered at the site were the vandals’ working equipment with 16 cut pipelines.

In late April 2024, men of the Benue State Community Volunteer Guards arrested two pipeline vandals in Yakyor in Apir, a suburb of Makurdi.

The culprits were trailed and arrested at the weekend after they had sold the first batch of the loot for N400,000 and shared the money, according to Joseph Har, the Special Adviser to Governor Hyacinth Alia on Security and Internal Affairs.