Olusegun Samuel in Yenagoa
The Bayelsa State operations of Tantita Security Services has described as unfounded, allegations in a recent publication by the Caretaker Council Chairman of Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Mr. Lucky Okodeh, and a video circulating on social media alleging an invasion of Igbomotoru Community by the company, using the military.
In a statement by the State Coordinator, Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited ,Bayelsa Operations, Joshua Maciver, it that Tantita does not possess the authority to order federal forces.
He urged the indigenes of Igbomotoru community to go about their lawful duties as the military is only on the ground to safeguard federal assets and by extension lives and properties in the area.
He added that Tantita Security Services remains steadfast in its commitment to eradicating illegal bunkering activities across Bayelsa State and the Niger Delta region.
“It is crucial to emphasise that the deployment of the Nigerian Army and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in our operations is not meant to intimidate law-abiding citizens conducting lawful businesses.
“Additionally, the placement of gunboats extends beyond Igbomotoru community, encompassing strategic routes used by illicit crude oil bunkers in areas like Azuzuama, Tebidaba-Okoron, Lasukugbene, Lagosgbene, and other communities.
“While we refrain from directly accusing individuals or groups involved in illicit activities, it is noteworthy that the expressed discomfort by the Chairman, Mr. Lucky Okodeh, in the media raises questions.
“ It prompts speculation on whether he is aware of potential clandestine activities within the Igbomotoru Axis, suggesting that the presence of security forces may unveil illicit crude oil syndicates and mercenaries, contrary to the Federal government’s stance on crude oil theft,” he said.
On the issue of political intimidation, MacIver said he would not witch-hunt anyone for political reasons.
“The promoters of this campaign of calumny should also be aware that only those culpable of illegal crude oil activities are targeted for arrest and possible prosecution.
“No amount of blackmail or show of shame as is in this case will deter the robust collaboration between the surveillance company and the security apparatus of the federal government,” he added.