The Nigerian Government has ordered Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, to dissolve all the anti-vandal units of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, guarding oil pipelines in Niger Delta after being accused of conniving and colluding with bunkers, oil thieves.
squad – widely accused of unlawful arrests, torture, and murder – are to be redeployed, the presidency said, and a new arrangement to replace the squad is being worked on.
Commandant General of NSCDC, Dr. Ahmed Audi, dissolved the team after a meeting with the top management and all state commandants of the corps in Abuja on Tuesday.
According to Dr. Audi, the dissolution of all anti-vandal units of the corps followed the directive of the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola.
He added that all roadblocks in the troubled areas that were not approved by the corps have also been ordered to be dismantled.
EnergyDay gathered that the seemingly deep-seated challenge of crude oil theft has been compounded by the alleged connivance of security personnel, and community leaders with the endorsement of top government officials.
Major oil companies and international organizations have linked the sheer volume of crude oil theft to organised crime in the Niger Delta.
Speaking on the planned dissolution, Audi revealed that the Government is planning to reconstitute the units, so as to introduce fresh blood and do away with security operatives, who may be accomplices.
He said, “We have made it very clear that henceforth, we are going to hold commandants responsible for any breach in their various states, especially in the area of vandalism.
“In view of that, we have received reports, therefore, the minister has approved the reorganisation of a department in the corps, known as anti-vandalism. You are to note that all anti-vandal teams nationwide are hereby dissolved and all road blocks mounted by such individuals should be immediately dismantled.
“The minister has also approved the reorganisation of the anti-vandal team and he directed further that the anti-vandal team will be reconstituted in due course.
“The Federal Government is showing so much concern on the issue of oil theft and the corps is saddled with the protection of pipelines.”
“There are insinuations that security agencies are involved as accomplices. Because we want to redeem the image of the service, our officers are doing their jobs but not to satisfaction, hence, the call by the minister for the reorganisation of the teams.”
Nyesom Wike, Governor of Rivers state, has in recent time made revelations about the involvement of top security officials sponsoring oil bunkering in the state.
He fingered a General Officer Commanding, GOC, who he alerted, had raised a team of soldiers to steal and sell petroleum products in the region.
The governor had then alleged that major oil thieves have the support of top military generals, who instruct their subordinate commanders in the area of responsibility, AOR, not to disturb his “friends” and the benefits go round.
Policemen and operatives of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC, reportedly clashed in Rivers state over the protection of an alleged oil bunkering site in Rivers state.