Pipeline Surveillance: Arewa Group Wants Tantita Security Services’ Contract Terminated

•Gives Tinubu three reasons why deal should be cancelled

•Kachikwu, Niger Delta Group berate Fubara for condemning Tantita’s security contract

Sylvester Idowu in Warri, Sunday Aborisade and Folalumi Alaran in Abuja

A group, the Northern Youth Council of Nigeria (NYCN), has stated three reasons why the federal government should be wary of renewing the pipeline surveillance contract awarded to Tantita Security Services’ Contract owned by ex-militant leader, Chief Ekpemupolo Government, alias Tompolo.

This was just as the presidential candidate of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) in the 2023 election, Mr. Dumebi Kachikwu and an oil and gas monitoring group, the Niger Delta Indigenous Movement for Radical Change (NDIMRC), have berated Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara’s alleged comment that it was wrong to award such pipelines surveillance contract to “one man.”

In a statement issued in Kaduna, signed by the NYCN Secretary General, Mustapha Hassan,  the group stated that the country was too tense to allow for any action that may breed internal turmoil within the ranks of its citizenry.

The group stressed that the contract awarded to Tompolo’s company had resulted in more controversy in the Niger Delta and amongst elites in the country.

“Top military brasses have frowned at how the government of Nigeria resorted to awarding contracts to someone who should ordinarily be behind bars for the economic mayhem caused in the Niger Delta region between 2016 and 2018,” they alleged.

According to them, “Beyond the economic sabotage, the federal government recorded loss of military personnel as well as equipment. The award of the surveillance contract to Tompolo became a mockery for the valour of the fallen soldiers and reward of their families’ pains.

“Secondly, the recent scramble for the contract by the ex- militant leaders in the Niger Delta region is mainly because of the notion that if Tompolo’s rascality can be rewarded by the Federal Government, they should all be carried along.

“We recall that when the pipelines surveillance contract was handled by Ocean Marine of Late Capt Hosa Okubor, these myriad issues were non-existent chiefly because they were seen as competent hands without blemish.

“In the same vein, it is obvious to Nigerians that there is no significant rise in the oil production quantum since this contract was awarded to Tompolo. The successes being celebrated were the normal production rates of the country before the mayhem of the Niger Delta Avengers,” they added.

The group urged President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to perish reconsideration of Tompolo for the pipeline surveillance so as to avert incessant agitations that may lead to breakdown of law and order across the country.

“As a group, we urge Mr. President to desist from granting contracts that may seem to encourage restiveness and criminality.” The group stressed.

Meanwhile, Kachikwu, has condemned Fubara, for faulting the pipeline security contract awarded to the Tantita Security Services.

Fubara had reportedly told a high powered Federal Government delegation led by National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu, that “Security of pipeline should not be given to one man or one person.”

He had queried how someone from Kalabari was controlling the pipeline in Ogoni.

However, Kachikwu in a reaction to the comments of the Governor in Abuja, yesterday, wondered how a governor of Fubara’s calibre could descend low as to mistake a company for “one man.”

He urged Fubara to create and award contracts to ex-militants in his domain if he was not comfortable with what the federal government had done.

He said the federal government had identified a competent and trusted security firm like Tantita to provide additional layer of security for the nation’s oil assets.

Kachikwu said, “Frankly, I am astonished that Governor Fubara made such an ignorant statement.

“He is the Governor of a state that is one of the leading states in crude oil theft and illegal refining activities.

“One would have expected that the gains the Federal Government and Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) are making through the partnership with Tantita and other security agencies would be applauded by Fubara.

“All well-meaning Nigerians are commending the security outfit but there he was talking about contract being awarded to one man.

“Did the federal government award the pipeline contract to a man or a company? This approach of let us share contracts for the boys must stop.

“If the governor is so interested in contracts being awarded to former militants he can create and award contracts to those of them in his domain. After all, he is the governor. He can do what he likes.

“What is now clear to all Nigerians is that the federal government means business in its war against crude oil theft, and they are only working with trusted partners who they know won’t compromise.

“We must all support this effort and not reduce this to our usual comedy routine,” he added.

Relatedly, the NDIMRC also berated Fubara.

NDIMRC said the governor was not being fair to the people of the Niger Delta Region and other stakeholders and implored Tinubu to be wary of the governor and also call him to order now for interest of peace.

In an open letter to Tinubu, the group expressed shock over the utterances of the governor, saying his words were capable of disrupting the prevailing peace in the Niger Delta Region, noting that since the pipelines Surveillance Contract was awarded by the administration of former President Mohammadu Buhari to Tompolo, the region has known peace and crude oil thieves milking the nation dry put under control.

NDIMRC in the letter signed by Nelly Emma, John Sailor, and Stanley Mukoro, President, Secretary, and Public Relations Officers respectively, maintained that while illegal oil dealers were enemies of the country, mischief-makers and crude oil thieves were actively working to prevent renewal of the contract because it has crumbled their illicit empires, stressing”We hate to believe that the Governor of Rivers is encouraging these enemies of the nation who are stealing our crude oil for selfish reasons.

 “Mr. President, we must say that we were shocked by the utterances of the Rivers State Governor, Siminalayi Fubara on Saturday, August 26th, 2023 when he played host to high powered Federal Government delegation led by National Security Adviser Nuhu Ribadu. His words are capable of generating bad blood among the peace loving people of the Niger Delta Region.

“We have been wondering, since he said such things, if the Rivers State Governor is a beneficiary of crude oil thieves in the Region because it is only those romancing with crude oil thieves and enemies of the country could have made such a very sensitive statement at a time when Tompolo through his company, Tantita has been able to chase away crude oil thieves from our Creeks.

“It should be made clear that Tantita is just a coordinator of the good job that Tompolo is doing as every community handle their own job and Mr President, this has brought peace to everyone and we are not going to allow the Rivers State Governor to cause bad blood among the people”, it stated.

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