Fri. Dec 1st, 2023

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Group Condemns Rivers Governor Over Remarks on Pipelines Surveillance Contract

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By Our Correspondent

An oil and gas monitoring group, the Niger Delta Indigenous Movement For Radical Change (NDIMRC), has rained heavy knocks on the Governor of Rivers State, Siminalayi Fubara for saying it was wrong to award pipelines Surveillance contract to ‘one man’.

The Rivers State governor, Siminalayi Fubara, had on Saturday, August 26th, 2023, fumed over the crude oil pipeline surveillance contract awarded to Tantita Security Services led by former militant leader, High Chief Government Ekpemepulo (aka Tompolo) by the Federal Government.

The governor said in Port Harcourt that it was wrong to award such a contract to ‘one man’.

He said the decision would not achieve the objective it was meant to serve because,in his view, an individual should not have control over the assets in another’s territory.

Though the Governor failed to mention a name, he told a high powered Federal Government delegation led by National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu, that “Security of pipeline should not be given to one man or one person.”

The team also comprises Defence Minister Muhammed Badaru; Minister of State for Defence, Bello Matawalle; Minister of State (Oil), Petroleum Resources, Heineken Lokpobiri; Minister of State (Gas), Petroleum Resources, Ekperipe Ekpo; Chief of Defense Staff, General Christopher Gwabin Musa and the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt Gen Taoreed Lagbaja.

He said: “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.

But the oil and gas monitoring group, (NDIMRC), said that the Governor was not being fair to the people of the Niger Delta Region and other stakeholders and implored President Bola Tinubu to be wary of the Governor and also call him to order now for interest of peace.

In an open letter to President Tinubu, the group expressed shock over the ultrances of the Rivers State Governor, saying that his words were capable of disrupting the prevailing peace in the Niger Delta Region, saying that since the pipelines Surveillance Contract was awarded by the administration of former President Mohammadu Buhari to Tompolo, the region has known peace and crude oil thieves milking the nation dry put under control.

Nelly Emma, John Sailor, and Stanley Mukoro, President, Secretary, and Public Relations Officers respectively of NDIMRC, said in the open letter to the President that while illegal oil dealers are enemies of the country, mischief-makers and crude oil thieves are actively working to prevent renewal of the contract because it has crumbled their illicit empires, saying that; “We hate to believe that the Governor of Rivers is encouraging these enemies of the nation who are stealing our crude oil for selfish reasons”.

They wrote; “Mr President, we must say that we were shocked by the ultrances of the Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara on Saturday, August 26th, 2023 when he played host to high powered Federal Government delegation led by National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu. His words are capable of generating bad blood among the peace loving people of the Niger Delta Region. We have been wondering since he said such things if the Rivers State Governor is a beneficiary of crude oil thieves in the Region because it is only those romancing with crude oil thieves and enemies of the country could have made such a very sensitive statement at a time when Tompolo through his company, Tantita has been able to chase away crude oil thieves from our Creeks. It should be made clear that Tantita is just a coordinator of the good job that Tompolo is doing as every community handle their own job and Mr President, this has brought peace to everyone and we are not going to allow the Rivers State Governor to cause bad blood among the people”.

They also wrote that; ” The Rivers State Governor MUST not be allowed to destroy the good work of the Federal Government. The Governor of Rivers State know very well that before Tantita, people were unable to dry their clothes openly in Rivers state as a result of the activities of crude oil thieves, but all that has been checked and changed by Tompolo and Tantita. Let it be known that Governor Siminalayi Fubara is one of the beneficiaries of Tantita, the records are there for all to see. Before the contract was awarded to Tompolo, the current governor of Rivers State and other stakeholders were aware of it and commended it. Why is the Governor singing a different song now? Has the Governor compromised his conscience to oil crude thieves in the Region? The Governor should be grateful to Tantita and he should also be happy that he was visited on Saturday, August 26th, 2023 by the Federal Government team even though he was RUDE to members of the team.
Please, Mr President, encourage the National Security Adviser (NSA), Ribadu and the Department of State Services (DSS) to name and shame those behind the illicit oil deals in the region”.

They said that; “We are by this open letter to Mr President tasking the NNPCL and the National Security Adviser (NSA) to reveal the names of those behind illegal oil bunkering, because it is the only drastic and decisive measures by the government would deter operators of the illegal industry. 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 NNPCL fully in fighting corruption in the oil sector for our production to go up and the common man will benefit greatly,” it stated.

“We want to let the President and the whole world know that Tompolo means well for our nation and those kicking against the renewal of his pipeline surveillance contract are out to frustrate the efforts of a selfless man who is opposed to the selfish interests of a few as against the general interests of the nation and the people,” they said.

They further wrote that; “Some disgruntled ex-militants who are opposed to the contract awarded by former President Buhari are working hand-in-hand with those stealing our oil and they have vowed to ensure that the pipeline contract to Tompolo is not renewed. Mr. President, these people do not mean well for your administration and the Nigerian people, and we are pleading with you not to listen to them”.

“Mr President, the former militant groups who are urging you against renewing the contract for Tompolo do not mean well for your administration. Oil production data has shown that renewing the contract for Tompolo is in the interest of the country’s economy. We want to commend how Tompolo-led Tantita has helped to beat oil bunkerers to their own game, because oil production has gone up and more money has been generated by the Federal Government, thanks to the relentless efforts of Tompolo. The pipeline surveillance contract is also germane to growing peace that has engendered unhindered oil exploration and exploitation activities across the areas. We are satisfied with his protection of critical oil and gas infrastructure, eradication of oil bunkering, and increased generation of internal revenue and therefore the Federal Government should go ahead and renew his pipelines surveillance contract and the likes of the Rivers state Governor who are entitled to their rights and opinions should not be listened to”, they wrote in the open letter.

“We want to let the President and the whole world know that Tompolo means well for our nation and those kicking against the renewal of his pipeline surveillance contract are out to frustrate the efforts of a selfless man who is opposed to the selfish interests of a few as against the general interests of the nation and the people. Some disgruntled ex-militants who are opposed to the contract awarded by former President Buhari are working hand-in-hand with those stealing our oil and they have vowed to ensure that the pipeline contract to Tompolo is not renewed. Mr. President, these people do not mean well for your administration and the Nigerian people, and we are pleading with you not to listen to them and in the same vien, be wary of the Rivers State Governor and do not fail to call him to order and the time to do that is NOW! He was not friendly at all to the Federal Government delegation to Rivers State on Saturday”, they also wrote.

In their words also; “Mr President, the former militant groups who are urging you against renewing the contract for Tompolo do not mean well for your administration. Oil production data has shown that renewing the contract for Tompolo is in the interest of the country’s economy. We want to commend how Tompolo-led Tantita has helped to beat oil bunkerers to their own game, because oil production has gone up and more money has been generated by the Federal Government, thanks to the relentless efforts of Tompolo. The pipeline surveillance contract is also germane to growing peace that has engendered unhindered oil exploration and exploitation activities across the areas. We are satisfied with his protection of critical oil and gas infrastructure, eradication of oil bunkering, and increased generation of internal revenue and therefore the Federal Government should go ahead and renew his pipelines surveillance contract and the likes of the Rivers state Governor who are entitled to their rights and opinions should not be listened to”.

“Finally, Mr President, all the Tank Farms visited by the National Security Adviser (NSA), Ribadu and his team on Saturday in Koko, Warri North Local Government Area of Delta State should be investigated properly. We have our reasons for saying that the searchlight should be beamed on them. Also, the Ship loaded with crude oil and recently freed by the Navy should be probed. We do not want these matters that we have raised to be swept under the carpet, otherwise, we will be forced to publish what we have at our disposal in foreign media and the whole world will know that this administration is not serious in the fight against corruption. Mr President, thanks for your attention and hoping you will do the needful for the interest of the nation and the people”, they told President Tinubu.


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