‘Military, oil firms responsible for pipeline vandalism, violent crimes’
AGAINST the backdrop of recent bombing of oil installations and the violent crimes that pervade the oil-rich Niger Delta region, the Civil Liberties Organisation (CLO) has accused officials of oil multinational companies and the military personnel in the region of complicity in the rising cases of criminalities, especially pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft.
The CLO said though the security outfits, which include the Navy, Army, Air Force and the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) had claimed to have deployed gunboats and opened up check-points along the creeks and waterways of the region, cases of kidnapping, sea piracy, oil pipeline vandalism and others criminalities have persisted.
The state chairman of CLO in Bayelsa State, Chief Nengi James, who spoke in Yenagoa on the findings of the organisation on issues of the incessant violent crimes, said it was curious that despite military’s presence, the spate of crimes in the creeks and waterways has reached an alarming rate.
He said: “The situation has forced the people to lose confidence in the deployed security personnel and a situation which has forced the people to dread moving on the waterways even though there is supposed to be a high presence of military personnel on the creeks.
“The military should face the reality and do their work. Where are the gunboats? Where are the checkpoints and what gives the vandals and the pirates the audacity to operate unhindered and without molestation if there are no security operatives collusion? Our people are under siege. There is high collusion, especially in the area of vandalism. The military are helpless.”
He, therefore, called on President Muhammad Buhari to open a high-powered investigation on the activities of oil exploration companies and the military in the region.