by Our Correspondent
Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited in the Bayelsa axis, has debunked claims of military invasion of Igbomotoru Community in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of the state.
The company emphasized that the deployment of the security in its operations in the area was not meant to intimidate law-abiding citizens but to safeguard federal assets and by extension lives and properties in the area.
In a statement, signed and sent to our correspondent on Monday, by the Coordinator, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited (Bayelsa Operations), Great Joshua MacIver, stated that the company remains steadfast in its commitment to eradicating illegal bunkering activities across Bayelsa State and the Niger Delta Region.
The statement reads”It is crucial to emphasize that the deployment of the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps in our operations is not meant to intimidate law-abiding citizens conducting lawful businesses.”
“Additionally, the placement of gunboats extends beyond Igbomotoru Community, encompassing strategic routes used by illicit crude oil bunkers in areas like Azuzuama, Tebidaba-Okoron, Lasukugbene, Lagosgbene, and other communities.
“While we refrain from directly accusing individuals or groups involved in illicit activities, it is noteworthy that the expressed discomfort by CTC Chairman, Mr. Lucky Okodeh, in the media raises questions.
“It prompts speculation on whether he is aware of potential clandestine activities within the Igbomotoru Axis, suggesting that the presence of security forces may unveil illicit crude oil syndicates and mercenaries, contrary to the Federal government’s stance on crude oil theft.
“Moreover, during the flag-off operation of Igbomotoru camp of Tantita Security operations, which took place on the 14th of October 2022 and was attended by the State Coordinator, Great Joshua MacIver, along with the incumbent Caretaker Chairman Mr. Lucky Okodeh in the company of various security agencies, including the Nigerian Army with gunboats, the entourage was welcomed to a warm reception by the Community members.
“The CTC Chairman during that visit enjoined the community leadership to work with the surveillance company and the various security agencies and its apparatus in place, stating that their presence in the town was not to take away their means of livelihood but to better the lot of all and sundry in the course of their operations.
“To this date, Tantita Security along with the military and NSCDC have carried on with their responsibilities without any reports of violence, harassment, or intimidation of any kind from 2022 up until this moment.
“Indigenes of Igbomotoru Community are advised to go about their lawful duties as the military is only on the ground to safeguard federal assets and by extension lives and properties in the area.
“Contrary to unfounded allegations in a recent publication by Mr. Lucky Okodeh, CTC, SILGA, and a video circulating on social media alleging an invasion of Igbomotoru community by Tantita Security Services using the military, it is imperative to state emphatically that Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited is a private security and surveillance company working collaboratively with the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd and various security agencies, including the Navy, Army, NSCDC, NPF, etc. to combat crude oil theft and illicit bunkering activities in the Niger Delta region.
“It is also pertinent to emphasize that the rate of crude oil theft in Nigeria has significantly reduced due to the operational efficiency of Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, resulting in an upsurge in the Nation’s crude oil production, from its all-time low of 972,000bpd to the current average production of 1.7 million bpd.
“The gains made in the Nation’s crude oil production have translated into increased revenue allocation for oil-producing States, and in turn, the local government, of which Southern Ijaw LGA takes a substantial chunk. Ideally, one would have expected commendations for the positive impact of Tantita’s operations in the region’s economic landscape.
“However, the recent publication from the Caretaker Chairman and an orchestrated video making the rounds of a supposed protest carried out by mischievous elements to bring the operations of Tantita Security Services to disrepute, leaves a sour taste to be desired.
“Unfortunately, what the scriptwriters of that purported protest fail to understand is that Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, as a private security company, does not possess the authority to order federal forces but rather provides credible intelligence to guide federal forces in combating the menace of illegal bunkering and kpo fire activities”
As we beckon for answers to the above fundamental questions, we wish to state categorically that the call by the Caretaker Chairman of Silga is totally unnecessary and not born out of goodwill, as it overlooks the collaborative efforts required to address security breaches common within riverine communities and environmental degradation associated with illegal bunkering activities. As a responsible private security company, we anticipate the cooperation of local government authorities and the Bayelsa State government in fostering a secure environment for all residents.
While we choose not to delve into the massive youth employment that involves nearly two thousand personnel from Bayelsa State, with the participation of several speedboats, the paramount issue is that concerns such as black soot and black rainwater, which were once prevalent and adversely affected lives and livelihood, along with the unimaginable level of pollution visible in our rivers, creeks, and farmlands, have gradually come under control. We believe this achievement deserves commendation from the Bayelsa State government.
On the issue of political intimidation, Great Joshua MacIver, who has always displayed a peaceful disposition before, during, and after the election, would not witch-hunt anyone for political reasons. The promoters of this campaign of calumny should also be aware that only those culpable of illegal crude oil activities are targeted for arrest and possible prosecution, and no amount of blackmail or show of shame as is in this case will deter the robust collaboration between the surveillance company and the security apparatus of the Federal government.
Ridiculously, the promoters of the said video and publication, championed by Mr. Okodeh, made a blunder by bringing petty community-related disputes on Chieftaincy tussle to a company that holds a mandate from the Federal government to stamp out illicit crude oil activities. This abysmal level of propaganda, though too elementary but not surprising due to the characters of the persons involved.