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Niger Delta: JTF colludes with foreigners stealing crude oil, youth leaders claim


Roland Oweilaemi Pereotubo

The Niger Delta Ethnic Nationalities Youth Leaders Council, yesterday, alerted of a high powered illegal bunkering ring operating in the Niger Delta region, carried out allegedly “by some powerful forces in the country in collaboration with foreigners”, with the active connivance of the military joint task force (JTF), which provides them cover.

Rising from their second quarterly meeting in Warri, Delta State, where they reviewed issues bordering on oil theft, pipeline vandalism and bunkering in the region, the youth leaders from six states of the region, urged President Muhammadu Buhari, the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, and the international community to probe the activities of the JTF in the region.

They identified spots where illegal bunkering was taking place, including Bonny and Bille in Rivers State and Nembe in Bayelsa State and other coastal communities across the region.

Speaking on behalf of the other youth leaders, President-General of the ethnic nationalities, Pereotubo Oweilaemi, said: “The economic sabotage being perpetrated by the JTF under the command of Rear Admiral Suleiman Apochi in the name of securing the nation’s crude oil facilities has informed the youth Presidents of the various ethnic nationalities in the Niger Delta to jointly address this world press conference.”

The illegal bunkering activities are taking place in our terrains, which have hitherto destroyed our biodiversity. We are therefore in a better position to tell the world, who is actually involved in it.”

The youth leaders further alleged that oil tankers come to the region with fake voucher from the NNPC to load crude oil under the watch of the JTF, even as they demanded the removal of the JTF Commander (Rear Admiral Suleiman Apochi), saying he has compromised his office. They equally called for total overhaul of the security architecture in the region, especially now that elections are approaching, stressing that the Niger Delta is not safe from external invasion, as illegal immigrants have been entering the region to transact business with their collaborators.

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