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Niger Delta militants accuse JTF of complicity in oil theft

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Niger Delta militant. PHOTO: AFP

• Ex-minister, Gbagi asks Buhari to monitor his appointees
A coalition of Niger Delta Agitators has accused the Joint Task Force (JTF) of complicity in oil bunkering in the Niger Delta.

Spokesperson of the group, John Duku, stated this after a meeting in Port Harcourt to review recent developments in the area.

The coalition urged President Muhammadu Buhari to overhaul the JTF to stop the illegality.

Duke expressed concern about the activities of Operation Delta Safe, which, he said, has grieved the Niger Delta ethnic nationalities, youth leaders’ council and other community groups.

Duku explained that after receiving intelligence reports from its surveillance units and other affiliate groups, the shocking reality indicted the JTF and its leadership.

The group said after a careful deliberation, they resolved that Buhari should immediately order the overhauling of the JTF in the Niger Delta.

In addition, the coalition urged the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Independent Corrupt Practices & other related offences Commission (ICPC), the National Security Adviser and military authorities to probe its activities.

“We also use this medium to call on the Ministry of Defence and military authorities to restructure the JTF with immediate effect, to avoid a breakdown of law and order.

“We will not sit down and watch them conniving to steal millions of crude oil barrels on daily basis,” he said.

The militants argued that the activities of the JTF are sabotaging the economic growth of Niger Delta and Nigeria in general.

According to them, if the present JTF leadership were allowed to continue, it would be dangerous and difficult for the government to implement the 2018 budget through crude oil.

The groups lamented that the JTF, whose responsibility is to protect oil and gas installations, is playing a major role in supporting and stealing crude oil in the Niger Delta.

They demanded the immediate replacement of all the JTF personnel, including the Commander in the Niger Delta.

“We shall not fold our arms and watch as this illegal activities continue unabated, because a stitch in time saves nine,” he said.

When contacted, JTF spokesperson, Ibrahim Abdullahi, told The Guardian that he would call back for their response. He however did not do so at the time of this report.

Meanwhile, ex-Minister of State for Education, Kenneth Gbagi, has asked Buhari to check the activities of his appointees to halt the trend of mis-governance in the country.


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