A Northern forum known as the ‘Kungiyar Mutanen Arewa’ has called for collaboration between the Nigerian Navy and Tantita security personnel to fight the menace of oil theft in the Niger Delta.
This is as the group condemned the recent arrest of some Tantita security personnel by a segment of the Nigerian Navy over alleged attempted oil theft.
Tantita is a private security company owned by Government Ekpemupolo, popularly known as Tompolo, an ex-Niger Delta agitator.
It was reported that the Nigerian Navy claimed on August 29, 2023, that officers stationed at Forward Operation Base Lekki prevented an alleged attempt to steal oil from a pipeline near the Itolu community in the state.
“The naval crew arrived on the site and saw four people who were attempting to recover an outboard engine from a local while wearing black polo shirts with the word TANTITA written on the back, claiming that it found the engine and captured the four Tantita employees,” Nigerian Navy had said in a statement.
The northern group, however, noted that rather than disagreeing on operations, the Nigerian Navy and Tantita should be working together.
They also called for a renewal of the Tantita Security Services pipeline surveillance contract.
Additionally, it pleaded with President Bola Tinubu to act swiftly and relaunch the Nigerian Navy unit that is responsible for patrolling the oil rivers.
Protesting on Monday outside the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation’s headquarters in Abuja, the forum, which criticised the Navy’s course of action, stressed that Tantita and the military ought to work together across agencies.
The protesters said, “Asonja Goddey, Obajimi Oluwaseyifunmi, Awolowo Aribo, and Oluwadaisi Balogun were arrested by the Nigerian Navy segment operating in the oil rivers.”
Addressing journalists, the Chairman of the forum, Saidu Bello, called on President Tinubu to take quick action while expressing displeasure and worries about how these activities will affect Nigeria’s financial stability.
Bello noted, “Any circumstances under which the main source of the Nigerian economy is affected upset not only the Nigerian state but several ancillary units and services that rely on the Nigerian economy.”
Continuing, the chairman demanded a new security blueprint, urging the Nigerian Navy to concentrate on defending the country’s marine blue line while leaving other security agencies in charge of policing the waterways.
He said, “We urge the Navy to make arrests in response to any illegal activities across the border originating from inbound marine activities. This will allow other security agencies assigned to police Nigeria’s waterways to effectively carry out their duties.”
- Continued on www.punchng.com
He maintained that Tantita’s efforts have helped improve oil export, noting that oil output increased significantly, from an all-time low of less than one million barrels per day to an average of 1.47 million barrels per day. He added that NNPCL’s GMD, Mele Kyari, had earlier praised Tantita for this achievement.