A Niger Delta monarch, leaders, and stakeholders have asked the nation’s security agencies to carry out internal cleansing, and fish out officers and men involved in crude oil banditry, rather than challenging a citizen that spoke the bitter truth to name the complicit security officials.
They asked President Bola Tinubu, who, recently, sacked all the service chiefs, and appointed new ones to give the fresh helmsmen clear-cut directives to expose and punish all military personnel engaged in crude oil theft.
Responding to the Nigerian Navy’s demand through its Spokesperson, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vauguhan, that the leader of the Niger-Delta Peoples Volunteer Force, NDPVF, Alhaji Mujahid Dokubo-Asari, should name the military officers involved in oil bunkering, the stakeholders advised the security agencies not take the patience of Niger Delta people for granted.
Dokubo-Asari, during a visit to President Tinubu at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, last week, disclosed that military officers were involved in crude oil bunkering in the oil region.
Akin to his Navy counterpart, the Nigerian Army Spokesperson, Brigadier General Onyema Nwachukwu, also debunked the claim of military participation in oil bunkering, saying the army had intensified its battle against the oil thieves. However, stakeholders, who spoke to Saturday Vanguard, during the week, insisted Dokubo-Asari should not mention any name publicly, and that security officials’ participation in oil bunkering was common knowledge in the creeks.
They said that he (Dokubo-Asari) was not the first to speak out, as an ex-militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, whose Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, TSSNL, is one of the private surveillance contractors currently monitoring the nation’s oil pipelines, and others, made a similar disclosure in the past.
Don’t take N-Delta people for granted – HRM Whiskey
The Ovie of Idjerhe Kingdom in Delta State, HRM King Obukohwo Monday Whiskey, Udurhie 1, who noted that the military was trying to save face, said: “First, the Federal Government must be very discrete in its investigation to know who the crude oil thieves are, as the statement by Dokubo-Asari is not only a fact, but also the bitter truth.”
“There is a cartel that involves security personnel, oil companies’ executives and top government officials. Do not forget, that the oil they are bunkering is not in drums.
“This oil is being stolen in high-capacity barges and in most cases, ships. These are not businesses of peasant people; people who do not have international connections, and poor people. If you must steal oil, you must have a ship. Which Niger Delta person has a ship?
“Therefore, telling Dokubo-Asari to come and name names is just face-saving. They are trying to save their face. They should not take the patience of the Niger Delta people for granted.
“They are well-known in the Niger Delta for their illicit activities. Go around the seas in the Niger Delta, sometimes, you pass a military houseboat, less than a pole from there, there is an ongoing operation. Are you now saying they are not aware of what is happening there? Can villagers go there to challenge those people, and survive it?
“This country belongs to all of us and if we want to rescue this country from the hands of few corrupt individuals, we must be ready to call a spade a spade.