Police: Surveillance Contracts Fuelling N’Delta Crisis

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Emmanuel Addeh in Yenagoa

The police wednesday revealed that intelligence reports available to the force had shown that the award of surveillance contracts to non-indigenes by oil companies was partly responsible for the renewed Niger Delta crisis.

The Bayelsa State Deputy Commissioner of Police, Joseph Mukah, who represented the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Peter Ogunyanwo, disclosed this during a meeting with the state Governor, Seriake Dickson, and multinational oil companies that many communities were unhappy over the development.

The police noted that they had recently started to engage various communities in the region in dialogues in order to put an end to the recent upsurge in criminal activities.

Security findings, according to him, revealed that some oil producing communities are not happy with the award of the surveillance contract by the oil companies to non-indigenes. He said the development was causing tension.
Mukah disclosed that the issue was discussed at the meeting and it was resolved that the chairmen of the affected Community Development Committees and the youths would be engaged so as to find a permanent solution to the problem.
During the meeting, the governor called for concerted efforts to arrest the insecurity in the region, noting that the killing of security personnel, innocent citizens and vandalism of the oil installations by the Niger Delta Avengers, was not only criminal, but an act of economic sabotage.

He noted that the development was sending a wrong signal to the international community, adding that foreign investors are being scared away from investing in the country.

Reiterating his administration’s commitment to the protection of lives and property, the governor said the recent development was affecting the socio-economic growth of not only the state, but the entire region.

‘‘The way forward is for all stakeholders to discuss the issues and the need for the federal government to tread with caution and not adopt military approach as a means to solve the problem.

“No one person can protect the assets in the remote areas of the region, therefore call on those involved in this act of criminality to stop forthwith,” he said.

The governor also commended the military and other security organs in their fight against pipelines vandalism and the protection of lives and property in the region.

The Director of the NNPC/Chevron joint venture, Monday Ovuedu; Group Executive Director, Media, Government and Public Affairs, Mr. Sola Omole and Head of Legal Services, CONOIL Plc, Michael Madugbe, in their comments noted that the oil companies operating in the region would collaborate with the government at sustaining peace in the region.
They pointed out that with a sustained engagement strategy and with sincerity of purpose with all the stakeholders, security in the region would improve.