Groups protest award of pipeline contract protection to militants

A coalition under the aegis of Civil Society Coalition For Mandate Protection (CSC-MAP), Tuesday in Lagos, launched a global campaign against award of oil pipeline protection contracts to ex-militants.

The groups called on the federal government to end a practice that encourages proliferation of arms and endanger the country’s security.

The  groups staged a peaceful protest around  Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja, carrying placards with various inscriptions such as: “Protect integrity of Nigeria: Stop Oil Contracts to Gun Runners,” “Oil protection in Yorubaland not for gun runners,” “Probe killing of Police in Niger-Delta now” “We want security in Yorubaland,” “President Tinubu: Probe illegal Arms,” and other inscriptions.

The protesters, who were led by CSC-MAP secretary general of the coalition, Comrade Popoola Ajayi,  President Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC) New Era, Rasak Arogundade, Mallam Abuka Nuru, among others, stated that the exercise indicated the commencement of a mass campaign that would be staged within and outside the country to free Nigeria from the scourge of terror to give room for a free, prosperous and strong country.

The coalition urged the United Nations Security Council, in their 9-point demand, to impress it on the Nigerian government to stop the award of pipeline protection contracts to people linked in the past or present to armed insurgency.

The coalition also drew the attention of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to efforts at freeing Nigeria from the scourge of terror, saying the regional body should impress on the federal government to stop the tradition of giving pipeline protection contracts to ex-militants, armed militants and known terrorists.

The group, while making the demands, said the involvement of ex-militants in oil economic management and distribution was partly responsible for the current fuel scarcity experienced in the country.