Group Accuses Navy of Frustrating Private Security Firms Fighting Oil Theft

Sylvester Idowu in Warri

A group, under the auspices of Ohaneze Think-Tank (OTT)  yesterday  accused the Chief of Naval Staff, Admiral Emmanuel Ogalla of allegedly not allowing the private security outfits contracted by the federal government to do their jobs.

OTT, in an open letter to the CNS signed by Dr. Azubuike Ajuluchukwu and Dr. Cletus Akunyili, Coordinator and Deputy Coordinator respectively, urged the CNS to allow the three private surveillance contractors to function in the nation’s waterways.

The group said that it was initially hopeful when President Bola Tinubu appointed  Ogalla as the CNS with the expectations that his appointment would herald an era for a new beginning.

It however lamented that contrary to the expectations that the CNS will bring discipline, professionalism, competence and seriousness to bear on the job, the group’s hope was dashed as the expected change has continued to be a mirage.

According to the group, while the Nigerian Army, the Air Force and other security agencies have obeyed the directive to work alongside the private security firms, the Navy has remained adamant.

“The same old story of wanton irresponsibility and lack of dedication to duty by men of the Navy still subsists. The Navy you lead today carries the same old burden, which held down the nation.

“Rather than support the efforts of the three security companies contracted by the federal government to keep surveillance over oil facilities, the Navy is said to be hell bent in creating impediment in their paths, just to tarnish their reputation and have their contracts revoked.

“The companies, Tantita Security Services Limited (TSSL) and Pipelines Infrastructure Limited under the supervision of Inter –Atlas Synergy, have all cried out over Naval sabotage of their operations in the nation’s waters,” the group said.

OTT noted that the contracting of the civilian organisations has brought improvement in crude production noting that as at today, production has increased.

The group observed that if the Navy’s resistance was removed, production could climb to over 2 million barrels per day, as it was in 2015, adding that if this trend continues government would no longer look for loans to support the economy.

“These concerted efforts have made villagers to decline to help and support the economic saboteurs. Besides, we also gathered that these private security outfits have supported locals to return to their age-long occupation of fishing and farming, through financial gifts, purchase of fishing nets and others needed for their occupation.

“As clearly elucidated in the Renewed Hope Agenda of President Bola Tinubu, the private security providers have created an aquatic industry and food security chains in the host communities of the Niger Delta inline with Mr. President’s New Year day speech and agenda on January 1st, 2024.

“This was achieved as pollution in the waterways were cleaned due to reduction in the operations of the oil buccaneers. Also to be noted is the mass demolition of illegal crude refining camps that dotted the region,” the group added.

Related Articles