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A case for ex-militants, OPC and MASSOB


Sea Pirates PHOTO:

Sea Pirates PHOTO:

The current fuel scarcity being experienced nation-wide coupled with the scandalous drop in power generation has been blamed on the activities of some aggrieved Niger Delta ex-militants, OPC and MASSOB, who go about vandalising gas/fuel/crude oil pipelines. These regional groups are back to this nefarious activity to force the hand of President Buhari to return the contract of pipeline protection he took away from them on assuming the presidency. Apart from the problem of fuel scarcity or drop in power generation caused by the activities of these groups, their actions also resulted in a colossal cut in the country’s export of crude oil. In the words of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the recent disruption in production of crude oil as a result of the damaged pipe at the Forcados Export Terminal, will cause the nation $1billion or about N200 billion in lost revenue between February and May, which is the time expected to effect complete repairs on the damaged pipeline.

I must confess I was one of those who wrote to ask Buhari to annul the contract that put the monitoring of oil pipelines in the hands of Niger Delta ex-militants and co. In an article in The Guardian of March 22, 2015, titled “Waiting for the new government,” I had said to the new president: “The easy way these regional groups lent themselves out as tools in the hands of the outgoing government during the just concluded elections is a cause for concern…What made them sold out to government so cheaply, I assume, is the contract, running into billions, awarded them by the out-going government to secure oil pipelines across the country…

Now looking at the crippling effect of oil pipeline vandalisation on the economy vis-a-vis the relative peace that prevailed in the sector when the ex-militants and their likes were charged with keeping watch over the pipelines, I am forced to change my opinion on this issue. An Esan proverb has it that there is nothing as secure as money put in the custody of a thief. In other words, let the government give back the contract it took from these people so we can all have our peace. These guys are aggrieved. They feel the president is eating but can’t just understand why he does not want them also to eat. Truly, they are not happy. They are accusing Buhari of taking away the little food he met in their mouth, courtesy of Dr. Goodluck Ebele Jonathan.

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  • Adetola Danmola

    Shame on you then. They are creation of the politicians. Its good to have them secure their environments and more. They must obey the law too.

  • Arinze Anughere

    You see Nigerians like talking like children when people were saying that if Buhari comes to power he will do this and that to the Niger delta militants I was laughing. Nigeria is one of the numerous oil exporting countries. The question is why is our own like this? The answer is that the Niger delta people do not see the benefit of the oil pipelines criss crossing the Niger delta and their station in life which has worsened since the discovery of oil in 50’s till date. People don’t vandalize oil pipelines in Russia, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Libya, U.A.E and many other oil producing countries because there is a connection between the oil pipelines and their enhanced standard of living. Until such is the case in the Niger delta those pipelines could as well have been in Siberia.

    • Dejandon

      People don’t do such in those countries because they know the implications. The law will be forcefully applied on them and many will be executed for sure without any ethnic sentiments. Impunity is the bane of our societal ills, and we should stop glorifying the devil because we need to eat.

      Stop all form of lawlessness irrespective of the region. While we all acknowledge the Niger Delta has been neglected for a long while, we must not forget that this is being redressed too, with several measures introduced to ameliorate the neglect, from 13% derivatives to Min of Niger Delta and Niger Delta Dev Commission, manned by ND citizens by the way. And why cut your nose to spite your face? The environment being damaged when crude oil spills from vandalized pipes belongs to who? Will any sane investors come to open shop in a violent prone region? The rest of the COuntry will move on to better development while the ND keeps wallowing in retrogression from this kind of banditry and insecurity of lives and properties. Please what is bad is bad and two wrongs don’t make a right.