Oil theft: The Nigerian military has zero tolerance for any compromise…no black sheep would be spared- Nigerian Army and Navy.

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The Nigerian military has zero tolerance for any compromise…no black sheep would be spared- Nigerian Army and Navy.

The Nigerian Navy and Army have denied the allegation by the Niger Delta prominent activist, Asari Dokubo, indicting them on oil theft in Nigeria, threatening not to spare anyone affected in the military.

Their spokespersons in response to the allegation challenged the activist to mention names of those he claimed were involved in oil theft activities.

The spokespersons who denied the claim  in separate interview with newsmen, said that  Nigerian military  had conducted several successful operations to curb oil theft in the country.

 

The spokesperson for the Navy, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan and his counterpart in the Army,  Brig.  Gen Onyema Nwachukwu, denied the claims in separate interviews with the press.

 

Ayo-Vaughan specifically dared Dokubo to provide evidence to substantiate his claim, disclosing that the latest operation by the service saved the country from losing N71bn to oil thieves as of June 2.

 

He said,  “Also, it is allegedly stolen from offshore at sea. We have been fighting crude oil theft taking it to the creeks. If Dokubo is claiming that there is a cabal of military personnel involved in oil theft, let him bring their names.”

 

On his part, the army spokesman said the Nigerian Army had zero tolerance for any compromise on the part of its troops and would not condone such acts of economic sabotage.

 

Onyema added, “The Nigerian Army has zero tolerance for any compromise on the part of our troops and will not condone such acts of economic sabotage. No black sheep will be spared if identified.”

 

This is in response to the statement of the Prominent Niger Delta leader and former agitator, Asari Dokubo, on Friday, in Abuja who alleged that 99 per cent of oil theft incidents recorded in the oil-rich region was traceable to the Nigerian Army and Navy.

“The military is at the centre of oil theft, and we have to make this very clear to the Nigerian public that 99 per cent of oil theft can be traced to the Nigerian military, the Army and the Navy especially,” Dokubo told State House correspondents after he met President Bola Tinubu behind closed doors at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

However, he pledged his support to the Federal Government to bring the menace to “zero,” believing that the Tinubu-led administration would “fish out” the guilty elements in the military.

In April 2023, the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative revealed that the country lost 619.7 million barrels of crude oil valued at N16.25tn to crude oil theft between 2009 and 2020.

The data gathered from the agency’s latest policy brief titled, “The cost of fuel subsidy: A case for policy review,” also stated that the country spent over N13tn ($74bn) on fuel subsidies between 2005 and 2021.

But on Friday, Dokubo said oil theft and security framed his two-hour discussion with the President.

“I also want to say that oil theft is encouraged by the military. The Army and the Navy intimidate the (Nigeria Security and) Civil Defence (Corps) who are by status the people who are supposed to guard these pipelines. They receive a lot of money from NNPCL and the IOCs and just across the corner, you will see a houseboat.

“A few meters from the Houseboat, you will see an oil bunkering refinery tapping directly from oil well ends. It is very pathetic now. What is happening in the Niger Delta in the past eight years was unprecedented in the history of oil production anywhere in the world,” Dokubo said.

On security, he faulted the narrative that the military was not well-equipped to confront terrorism, banditry and militancy head-on, describing it as a “blackmail.”

For Dokubo, “The blackmail of the Nigerian state by the Nigerian military is shameful. They said they do not have enough armament and people listen to these false narratives. So, this blackmail must end. They have enough resources to fight.”

 

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