DPR uncovers fuel smuggling depot in Adamawa Fulani settlement
The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) yesterday said it had discovered smuggling depot of petroleum products in a Fulani settlement in a rural village in Mubi-South Local Council of Adamawa State near the Republic of Cameroon border.
The Adamawa State Controller of DPR, Alhaji Ibrahim A. Ciroma, with his team on a tour to seal illegal filling stations operating without licence, said he was shocked when he sealed a filling station opposite a Fulani settlement and decided to enter the settlement to interact with his Fulani kinsmen in the place, but only to discover that it was a smuggling depot.
He said the owner of the settlement, on citing the DPR team, ran into the thick bush leaving behind aged Fulani women and children who served as security for the smuggling depot located 50 metres away from Nigerian Customs checkpoint and 10 metres to a military checkpoint.
Ciroma, who was visibly angry over the smuggling activities, blamed the security agents, especially the Customs, for not doing enough to stop the smuggling of petroleum products to other countries at the economic risk of Nigerians.
“Just look at a Customs checkpoint there with their men on duty. See military checkpoint 10 metres away from here and here is a smuggling depot of petroleum products. So, what is the essence of all the Customs’ checkpoints we meet on the road on our way coming here and see another Customs’ checkpoint 50 metres away from this place? So, how can we move forward when people refuse to do their job. Should President Muhammadu Buhari come and be at the checkpoints himself to arrest smugglers?”
“From what I see today, President Buhari is an alone in his fight against corruption because nobody can explain why a smuggling depot of petroleum products is being operated in the mix of Customs and military checkpoints,” Ciroma said.
He, however, urged security agents to co-operate with the government in its fight against corruption.
In a related vein, socio-cultural groups in Benue State, Mzough U-Tiv, Ochetoha K’ Idoma and Omi Ny’ Igede, have said that the Federal Government’s ill-conceived RUGA programme is not only anti-democratic and anti-people but capable of causing social conflict that could lead the country into a major war.
The leaders of the groups, Edward Ujege, Amali Adoya Amali and Ben Okpa, who made the declaration at a press briefing in Makurdi, urged upright cancellation of the programme in 14 days rather than mere suspension.
They said: “If the wishes of the majority of Nigerians are ignored, we shall mobilise Nigerians and particularly Benue State people at home and abroad to commence civil disobedience.
“In the meantime, we are calling on the youths, women and people of Benue State to embark on civil disobedience on any project initiated in the name of RUGA or similar projects in Benue State.
They urged Governor Samuel Ortom and elected representatives in the state to continue to stand firm and do everything within the ambit of the law to save the people from elimination and unconstitutional harassment, maltreatment and maladministration from the Federal Government.