BREAKING; Notable heads of Militant groups meet in Rivers unite to combat oil theft in Niger Delta

Notable heads of Militant groups meet in Rivers unite to combat oil theft in Niger Delta

Some top powerful heads of militants’ groups in the Niger Delta have reportedly had a crunch meeting in a bid to eliminate all forms of oil theft especially illegal bunkering as part of the economic recovery programme of President Bola Tinubu.

It was gathered that popular ex-militant leaders and members of the Big Five held a crucial meeting in Rivers State to form an alliance against oil theft.

The meeting, which had in attendance key stakeholders from the nine states of the Niger Delta, was said to have held on Saturday at the Okochiri Palace of King Ateke Tom in Okirika Local Government Area.

Ex-militant leaders at the meeting were His Royal Majesty, King Michael Ateke Tom; High Chief Ajube Bibopiri, famously known in the creeks as General Shoot-at-Sight and Victor Ben Ebukabowei alias General Boyloaf.

A famous freedom fighter and activist, Alhaji Asari Dokubo, known for his support for President Tinubu was also said to be in attendance.

Though King Ateke and Dokubo were notorious for their prolonged enmity over irreconcilable political and personal difference, their surprised meeting at the weekend reportedly marked fresh beginning for the common interest of the Niger Delta and the country’s economy.

Sources close to the ex-militant leaders disclosed that the meeting was centred around oil theft and the best modalities of executing the pipeline contracts of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL).

The former creek warlords were said to have advocated that to permanently resolve the ongoing economic sabotage, NNPCL pipeline surveillance contracts must be decentralised.

They were said to have insisted that instead of giving all the contracts to a single firm or an individual, such jobs should be allocated to them in their areas or states of influence.

The source, who spoke in confidence, said: “Those in attendance shared the objective of intensifying their efforts to combat oil theft in the area and agreed the contract to be decentralized.

“It is apparent that it marked a unified front against the persistent problem of oil theft in the region. The stakeholders are resolute in their commitment to boost collaborative endeavors aimed at safeguarding the pipelines and the interests of the NNPCL”

“This collaborative approach has the potential to be a turning point in the ongoing struggle against oil theft, with far-reaching benefits for the entire region and the Nigerian economy”.

The ex-militant leaders’ position was said to be similar with the stance of the Rivers State Governor, Sir. Siminalayi Fubara, who on August 26th kicked against the practice of awarding all pipeline surveillance contracts to a single individual.

Fubara spoke when a Federal Government delegation on the security of oil and gas assets led by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Nuhu Ribadu, visited him.

He said: “Security of pipeline should not be given to one man or one person. How can someone from Kalabari be controlling the pipeline in Ogoni? There is no way it will work. We must look at bringing all the key people in the various communities”.

It was, however, gathered that the NNPCL had renewed the pipeline surveillance contract of Tantita Security Service Limited owned by a former militant leader, Government Ekpumpolo alias Tompolo, for another three years.

Though details of the the renewal were not disclosed, a source indicated that the total package had added responsibility of offshore surveillance.

The source, who spoke from Bayelsa State, said: “Tantita’s pipeline surveillance contract has been renewed for another three years. I don’t know the details but I heard additional responsibilities have been included. I was told offshore surveillance was also included”.

In August 2022, the Group Chief Executive Officer of NNPC, Mele Kyari, justified the government’s decision to award pipelines surveillance contract valued at N48bn to Tantita Security Services led by Tompolo.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button