•Victim wants police protection from Rivers militants
By Vincent Kalu
Three years after giving the police information that led to the smashing of a militant gang terrorising Emuoha community in Rivers State, a former worker with an oil services firm in Rivers State is in trouble.
At a time whistle-blowing has become a major cash cow in Nigeria, Afam Benjamin Anoliefo said he was currently fighting to save his life, noting that the remnants of the militants he helped the police to rout had vowed to kill him. He said that the group had sworn to fish him out wherever he might be hiding and then kill him for leaking information concerning their activities which led the police to arrest and kill some of them operating in the Rivers community.
Anoliefo told the reporter that he was now regretting his action. He is unhappy that while some whistleblowers are smiling to the bank for helping the police and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) recover looted funds for the Federal Government, his own case had become different, as his action had landed him in trouble.
According to him, he had to resign from his job in order to escape the wrath of the militants and save his life. He said that even when he had fled the creeks, the militants were still after him. He’s now appealing to the Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, to give him police protection.
Daily Sun learnt that until Anoliefo got into trouble, he was a staff of an oil services company, Ascort Flowline Ltd, formerly Wilbros West Africa Ltd, operating in Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
According to him, he was in the procurement department, where he handled logistics, project management and welfare of the company’s expatriate staff, among other activities.
He told the correspondent that it was his patriotic zeal that had caused his downfall and even threatened to claim his life.
He said: “At the peak of kidnapping and hostage taking by the Niger Delta militants in 2014, my company was still confident of undertaking more contracts in the area. So we had some expatriate staff left behind after a good number of them had left the country for fear of either being kidnapped or killed. Because of this fear, our operations were considerably scaled down.
“The militants were terrorising every community within the area. They had informants who usually gave them information regarding the movement of expatriate staff of companies operating in the area. Some residents knew them, but were not courageous enough to inform the security agencies about their movement for fear of what might happen to them if they did so.
“But one day in 2014, the police raided the hoodlums based on the information my colleague, late Sunday David, and I passed to them. David was in charge of our company’s security and intelligence at that time. The raid on the militants’ den in a creek called South Africa located in Choba was successful.
“The militants and other criminals usually had their boat regatta in the area and usually went on a binge and had some swell time with their prostitute friends. During that raid, some of them were killed; some arrested, while the lucky ones escaped. The security agents also questioned some people who worked in the area.
“David was from Benue State. Shortly after that raid, he died in mysterious circumstances. It is believed that the militants killed him.”
Anoliefo informed that after the 2014 raid, he had to run for his life. He explained that the militants and other criminal elements in the area, who probably realised that it was he and his friend Sunday that gave the police the lead which led to the arrest and killing of some of their colleagues, were desperate to get him killed.
He said that he believed that the militants knew of the role he and late Sunday played because they usually had their ears to the ground. He said the militants were always nosing around to track both movement of the expatriates and security agencies who were always on their trail.
He suspected that the militants finally caught up with David in Emuoha community in Ahoada, and allegedly injected him with some lethal substance which led to his death.
“I also got a message that they had vowed that I was going to end up the same way Sunday did for having the courage to expose them. They were unhappy that our action led to their arrest and killing of their members.
“On a number of occasions, they set traps for me, but through the grace of God I escaped death by the whiskers. Then I realised that my continued stay in Rivers State was suicidal; so I had to tender my resignation in May 2015.
“It was a very painful decision to take at that time because I was about getting married, but I had to take the decision to be alive first.
“When they supposedly got information that I had fled Port Harcourt and gone into hiding, they continued calling my cell phone. They kept telling tell me that I couldn’t run away from them for too long. By then, I was already in Abuja, yet they were still trailing me.
“Honestly, if I had known that things would come to this point, I could have allowed them to be. I wouldn’t have done what I did. I thought I was doing a great service to my company, whose operations were being adversely affected by the activities of the militants and the nation in general.
“Now see what my life has become. I can’t walk freely. I suspect everyone who comes around me. Each time, I have to turn to look at anybody who passes by me.
“Besides, apart from being jobless, life is getting increasingly tough for me. I’m appealing to the Inspector General Police, Ibrahim Idris, to help provide me with security. I thought I was helping the country by blowing the whistle on the hideouts of the militants, but I didn’t know I was hurting myself.”