Crude Oil Barrels
Five crude oil laden barges had been seized by ex-militants in Ondo State led by Chief Bebopiri Ajube.
The crude oil loaded in the barges was suspected to have been stolen by hoodlums, who burst the nation’s pipelines to steal the items somewhere in Delta State.
The spokesperson of the ex-militants, who is also the Operations Manager of Gallery Security Services Limited owned by Ajube, Mr. Ebi Molos, confirmed the seizure, while taking journalists round the seized items at Bolowo town in the Ese Odo local government area of the state.
According to him, the seized product was about 1.65m litres because “each of the five barges can fill up at least 10 oil tankers of 33,000 litre capacity each.”
Molos added that his men also seized from the hoodlums, seven speed boats and 14 engines, which they removed from other people’s speed boats.
“Our company is registered with the Federal Government for the security of the riverside areas and to arrest all forms of criminal activities in the area by assisting the government agencies like the Army, the Navy and the police.
“Most of the government security agents cannot come into the creeks, so we are assisting them to fish out the criminals out of our territory. It is a great joy that since the establishment of our company, we have been checking the hoodlums.
“We seized the badges, speedboats and engines at the Ondo State border from the hoodlums who were bringing them from Delta and Edo states. The hoodlums, who are very crafty, saw our men from afar and they ran away, leaving the stolen items behind,” Molos added.
He said the criminals were specialists in bunkering business by vandalizing pipelines, scoop the crude and take it to wherever they want to sell it.
“Most of the engines were stolen from our neighbouring communities. They stole them in collaboration with some hoodlums in those communities,” he added.
He said all the impounded items would be handed over to the government security agents after the preliminary investigations would have been concluded by his security outfit.
“If the government can support us we will do more. Financially we are not getting the necessary support from government. If we sustain our efforts, the criminal activities in the riverside areas will stop and the country will earn more from crude because we would have put an end to the operations of vandals and oil bunkerers,” he added
Speaking further on the development, Ajube told journalists that the major task before his security outfit was to check illegal movement of stolen crude from Ondo State territory and stop the activities of the illegal refineries.
“Those who engage in illegal refineries are using the stolen engines to remove crude from the vandalised pipes. We have arrested a lot of them and handed them over to government. They have about 50 various locations where they refine crude oil but we have dislodged them all.
“We will ensure that they won’t see crude oil to use as their raw materials. This will force them the drop the business and relocate from our territory where they are endangering the lives of our people,” Ajube stated.
He noted that his efforts was to compliment that of the Federal Government’s amnesty programme which had led to the full rehabilitation of 1,150 Ijaws and Ilaje youths, who are currently enjoying the amnesty programme.
He also said about 800 youths were outside the country on the bill of the Federal Government, adding that besides being paid N65,000 monthly, they were also getting their training allowances.
“We want to support the Federal Government with everything at our disposal to arrest this illegal activities of hoodlums on our waterways.
“We want the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation to do more for our people. The company is not assisting us. We are using our resources to fight this crime. We want the NNPC to compensate us,” he said.