From Femi Folaranmi, Yenagoa
A Niger Delta based Transparency group, Coalition of Niger Delta Stakeholders Forum, has petitioned President Muhammadu Buhari over alleged complicity of the Nigerian Navy personnel in several cases of crude oil theft in the region.
According to the group, despite the concerted efforts by the various newly engaged anti-crude oil surveillance contractors to counter the cases of theft and pipeline vandalisation, some personnel of the Nigerian Navy in collusion with some individuals are allegedly still engaging in crude oil theft, and pipeline vandalisation in the Niger Delta region,
The group, in the petition dated 18th January, 2023 and addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari titled “Petition Against The Nigerian Navy’s Leadership For Allegedly Engaging In Illicit Crude Oil Theft, Trade, And Pipeline Vandalisation in the Niger Delta Region: We Call For Credible Investigations Against The Leadership Of The Nigeria Navy, On Allegations Of Insubordination, Theft Of Our National Resources And Acts Of Treason” claimed that the alleged activities of the accused naval personnel is grossly impeding the efforts of the oil pipeline Surveillance contractors.
The petition, which was signed by Dr. Akpan O. Essien, Chief Williams Erepatei, Mr Adeleke S. Olubunmi, Mr James Ipalibo, Dr. Mrs. Ejiro P. Obohvie, stated that a probe of illegal activities of naval personnel in the Niger Delta region would be one of the enduring legacies of President Buhari.
While commending the Group Managing Director of the NNPCL, Mallam Mele Kyari for standing his ground to fight oil theft even at the risk of his life, they called for a credible investigation from the Presidency to bring all culpable to book.