|Military troops patrolling in the waterways|
A community source exclusively disclosed to Premium Times on Friday that a soldier escorting oil workers from an oil spill site drowned to death at Taylor Creek near an oilfield operated by Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) in Okordia, Yenagoa LGA of Bayelsa state. The source who said that the soldier drowned when a boat conveying oil workers across the Taylor Creek capsized, adding that the National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency, and Oil workers were returning from an assessment visit to an oil leak site when the incident occurred on Thursday evening.
"The boat conveying the crew from Agip’s field capsized on their way back from the site at the oilfield across and before help could come the soldier drowned and died, they were using a hand paddled canoe to cross the workers one at a time. "The soldier was washing his boots when water entered that boat and it capsized and the rifle fell into the creeks the other members of the crew had crossed and waiting for him to cross," the source said.
It was learnt that the attention of the fishermen operating along the creek was drawn to the distressed soldier. A fisherman were only able to rescue the driver of the ill-fated boat.
Youth President of Kalaba Community in Okordia, Samuel Oburo, said that the riffle of the dead soldier was recovered by local divers on Friday. "Some soldiers from Elele barrack came around after the remains of the soldier was recovered and asked me to mobilize local divers in search of the rifle of the soldier.
"We went in search of the gun and we recovered the rifle and handed it over to them, later in the day another senior officer came to show appreciation to the community," Oburo said.
The spokesman of the Joint Military Force in the Niger Delta, Col Isa Ado could not be reached on telephone for comments on the incident. He did not respond to a text message requesting his comments.