Top Army, Naval officers responsible for oil theft in Niger Delta – Asari Dokubo

A prominent Niger Delta leader Mr Mujahid Asari Dokubo said Friday that top military officers are responsible for a large scale oil theft in the Niger Delta region of the country.

Dokubo said this while fielding questions from State House correspondents after a meeting with President Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.

He said top army and naval commanders are the worst culprits in terms of aiding and abetting illegal oil and gas activities.

“The president is a fatherly figure to me. Our relationship spans over 30 years. I came here today to give words of encouragement to the President for the actions and policies so far made in this less than three weeks of governing a very difficult country like Nigeria.

“We discussed on wide range of issues, especially on security and oil thief in the Niger Delta. Myself and my brothers, have assured the President that there would be zero oil theft and vandalization in the Niger Delta. We’re going to work with an NNPC, PCN and the IOCs to make sure that oil theft is brought to zero.

“I also want to say that oil theft is encouraged by the military. The military is at the center of oil theft and we have to make this very, very clear to the Nigerian public. 99% of oil theft can be traced to the Nigerian military, the army and the navy especially.

“The Army and the Navy intimidate the Civil Defence, who are by status, the people who are supposed to guard these pipelines. They receive a lot of money from NNPCL and the IOCs and just across the corner, you will see a houseboat a few meters from the house boat, you will see an oil bunkering refinery or tapping directly from oil well ends.

“It is very pathetic now. What is happening in the Niger Delta in the past eight years was unprecedented in the history of oil production anywhere in the world.

“The vandals do not only attack the pipelines, they have migrated from the pipeline and have gone directly to the oil well heads and they take directly from the oil well heads. They set up haphazard facilities they call local refinery, artisanal refinery, this is crime against humanity because the livelihood of the people is being totally destroyed.

“The livelihood of the people is totally destroyed and every meter you see a naval house boat or an army house boat stationed. So the main culprits are the Army and the Navy and there are notorious naval commanders who are known to be kingpins of these bunkering activities. Even if they give 1 billion contracts to everybody in the Niger Delta, because these military men are armed from the Army and the Navy nothing will happen.

“The President has promised to take decisive action to make sure that this does not continue, it is brought to an end. It is very shameful. So I had volunteered to help, to assist and to do the things that are necessary to put a stop to this evil that is being perpetrated against the people of the Niger Delta, the oil community and the whole of Nigerians,” he said.

He said it is an act of blackmail for the military to say that they have insufficient armaments to deal with insecurity, accusing them of forfeiting their weapons to the insurgents, which continued to fuel the insurgency.

He said Nigeria is currently going through a full-scale war in different parts of the country, stressing that he had continued to render mercenary services to the federal government to keep all parts of the country safe for citizens to be able to travel and go about their businesses safely

“On security, I want to clearly say that there are full scale wars going on in different parts of this country. In the Southeast, the IPOB/ESN is waging a full scale war against the government of this country and many local governments, many communities are deserted, schools are closed, hospitals are closed.

“In the same vein, in Niger, in Zamfara, in Plateau, in Kaduna, in Yobe, in Borno, we’re only talking about Boko Haram. Boko Haram is just a tip of the iceberg, there’s a full scale war going on and the blackmail of the Nigerian state by the Nigerian military is shameful. They said they do not have enough armament and people listen to this false narrative. They are lying. They are liars, I repeat they are liars because I’m a participant.

“I am a participant in this war, I fight on the side the government of the Nigerian state; in Plateau, in Niger, in Anambra, in Imo, in Abia and in Rivers state and in Abuja. Today you’re travelling to Kaduna on this road, it’s not the army that makes it possible for you to travel to Abuja, or travel to Kaduna, vice versa. It is my men, employed by the government of the Nigerian state, stationed in Niger.

“Today you travel to Baga, you go to Shiroro, you go to Wase. We have lost so many men and we do not use, in all these engagements, we don’t even have 1% of the armament deployed by the Nigerian military. 1% and we have had resounding success. So this blackmail must end, they have enough resources to fight. Instead of fighting, they are busy stealing, they are busy making the government to spend unnecessarily,” he said.

Dokubo also called for the prosecution of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra (IPOB) Mr Nnamdi Kanu, stressed that releasing him would fuel impunity.

“During EndSars, Nnamdi Kanu was walking free. What did he do? He poured petrol on the flames of EndSars. Now, he has been caught. What of the people who have died? This is a criminal. He should face the law

“Releasing Nnamdi Kanu is rewarding criminality and rewarding gruesome murder of innocent people. He should face the law for the actions and instigations he has carried out”, he said.