Alhaji Asari Dokubo, a prominent leader and former agitator in the Niger Delta, has accused the Nigerian military and some politicians of being behind 99 percent of crude oil theft in the country, reaffirming the commitment of his group to assist President Bola Tinubu to halt the oil bunkering sponsored by those he described as notorious naval commanders.
He made this known during a press conference at the state house, Abuja, shortly after holding a private meeting with the President on Friday.
According to the Dokubo, Tinubu has promised to investigate allegations of huge oil bunkering by notorious naval commanders that are kingpins.
He confirmed that the President has vowed to take decisive action to halt the shameful act, alleging that there are powerful cabals coordinating the illegal bunkering activities in oil-rich communities from Abuja.
The Niger Delta leader, therefore, noted that it is shameful for the Nigerian military to complain of lacking sufficient armaments to arrest oil theft, vandalism, and illegal bunkering in the oil-rich communities. According to him, most of the military men in the Niger Delta are allegedly forfeiting their weapons to the insurgents.
He also debunked the oil theft allegedly perpetrated by ordinary Niger Delta citizens, insisting that the people in the oil rich communities do not possess the capacity and sophistication required to carry out organised oil theft.
He vowed that those powerful forces in Abuja and within the military have met their match, adding that some of them would soon be marching to Kuje Medium Security Custodial Centre, in Abuja.
Asari-Dokubo also promised that his boys are ready to volunteer with the Government to stop the illegal activities in the Niger Delta.
EnergyDay’s check showed that Dokubo-Asari had in 2022 expressed anger with Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo, former leader of Movement for Emancipation of the Niger Delta, MEND over the pipeline surveillance contract that the Federal Government awarded him, which extended to parts of Rivers state.
Dokubo-Asari in a trending video last year said, “I cannot even compare myself to Tompolo, it is unimaginable that I will condescend to the level of Tompolo. Who is Tompolo, what is his antecedents, and what is his name?
“Who is he, do not allow me open a can of worms, who is Tompolo, which Ijaw struggle is he fighting? He is fighting Itsekiri people calling it Ijaw struggle and Niger Delta struggle. Is he even involved in Ijaw struggle?
“Fighting war with Itsekiri, do not allow me to talk, he has never been involved in Ijaw struggle. Never. Gbaramatu versus Itsekiri – that is the war he is fighting. He is not even defending other Ijaw people who are fighting, Ogbe-Ijoh has been fighting with Aladja has Tompolo gone there before,” he disclosed at that time.
The cold war between the two ex-Militants lingered for several months despite the interventions by some prominent Niger Delta leaders and chiefs.
Further checks also showed that the multi-billion Naira contract to protect pipelines given by NNPC to Tantita Security Service Nigeria Limited, a firm linked to Tompolo has recorded some gains in taming the menace of crude oil theft for some months, thereby increasing the country’s output to 1.59 million barrels per day as of the first week of December, although this figure dropped to below 1.3 million barrels per day in the last six months of 2023.
The private security firm in two separate operations, intercepted a Barge and Truck with consignments of stolen crude oil. It was also credited with the discovery 16 illegal pipelines stretching to about four-kilometer-long on a Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) pipeline connecting the export terminal.
It is however noted clear whether the Federal Government is planning to consider giving another surveillance contract to Asari Dokubo.