Oil Theft: Group Tells NSA Ribadu to Name Vandals, Renew Tantita Contract
By Adedapo Adesanya
The Niger Delta Indigenous Movement For Radical Change has charged the National Security Adviser (NSA), Mr Nuhu Ribadu, to reveal the names of those behind crude oil theft in the Niger Delta.
The group alleged that those calling for the cancellation of the pipeline surveillance contracts given to Tantita, a company owned by a former militant leader, Government Ekpemupolo, commonly known as Tompolo, were behind oil theft in the country.
This was contained in a statement jointly signed by the President of the group, Mr Nelly Emma, and its Secretary, Mr John Sailor, who advised President Bola Tinubu to ensure that no efforts were spared by the federal government in collaborating with the former militant leader in the protection of critical oil and gas infrastructure and securing permanent peace in the oil-rich Niger Delta Region.
According to the group, oil production has gone up and more money has been generated by the national government due to the efforts of Mr Tompolo, hence the N48 billion pipeline security contracts should be renewed for the benefit of the country.
“Let it be known, Mr President, that some of these agitators and faceless stakeholders are being sponsored by the oil bunkerers and hiding under cover of the APC. Our president should not give these so-called agitators and their co-traveIlers that room to do whatever they want to do because they and their sponsors do not mean well for the nation.
“We want to implore the President that the NNPC and the National Security Adviser should be encouraged to reveal the names of those behind illegal oil bunkering. When the current NSA was the Chairman of the EFCC, he did very well in the fight against corruption and so we are expecting him to support NNPC fully in fighting corruption in the oil sector for our production to go up and the common man will benefit greatly.
“Some of these agitators being sponsored by those stealing our crude oil are working directly with the NNPC to guide our pipelines, and we are using this medium to call on NNPC that these agitators, being used by oil bunkerers and (who) have been paid heavily by their sponsors, should be shown the way out because they and their sponsors are saboteurs who are doing everything possible to frustrate the process already put in place by High Chief Tompolo.
“Before the award of the pipeline surveillance contract to Tompolo last year, we were only producing 700,000 barrels of oil per day, but it has risen to over 1.6 million barrels per day,” a part of the statement by the group read.
The statement added that, “The ex-militant who is waging this serious protest against the renewal of the contract for Tompolo does not even have a drop of oil in Ondo State; the oil in the area belongs to the IIajes, and his area does not have a single (drop of) oil and he is also the one working in the AKK Gas project of the NNPC. NNPC should know that he is the one being used by those stealing our crude oil to wage protest against NNPC and Tompolo.”