Some ex-agitators, operating under the banner of the Niger Delta Coastline Vanguard (NDCV), have called on President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to reconsider the current policy on pipeline surveillance.
They urge the decentralisation of the new surveillance project to involve leaders of ex-militants in each state of the region to ensure effectiveness and efficiency.
The group, primarily from the south-west region, is led by General Job Omotuwa. During a press conference held in Abuja on Thursday, they vowed to oppose any attempt to re-award the over N48 billion contract to a former leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND), Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo.
Omotuwa was accompanied by Chief Ajiroba Lucky, the group’s spokesman, Ariyo Adeolu, the financial secretary, and Joseph Olamide, the secretary.
Omotuwa emphasized that for peace to prevail in the region, the federal government should ensure the decentralisation of the pipeline surveillance contract to include the NDCV, covering the littoral corridor of Ondo, Ogun, and Lagos States.
“We will not permit or accept any deliberate effort by the government or its agents to impose someone from another region, who does not belong to our ethnic nationality, on us to maintain the existing peace in the region,” he stated.
He insisted that NDCV possesses the capacity, intelligence, and human resources necessary to collaborate with the federal government in the surveillance of pipelines and anti-bunkering activities in the area.
It’s worth noting that despite controversy, the federal government had previously awarded a pipeline surveillance contract, reportedly worth N48 billion per year (N4 billion per month), to Mr Ekpemupolo’s company, Tantita Security Service Nigeria Ltd., to combat massive oil theft in the region.
Omotuwa revealed that the Niger Delta Coastline Vanguard has learned about plans by the federal government to re-award pipeline surveillance contracts to some ex-militant leaders in the Niger Delta region for monitoring pipeline vandals.
“On this basis, we are here to appeal to Mr President to review the existing policy and call for the decentralisation of the new surveillance project to include ex-militant leaders in each state of the region for a more effective and efficient result,” he said.
He pointed out that the Niger Delta Coastline Vanguard is a group of ex-militants who submitted their weapons and were granted pardons under the Presidential Amnesty Programme in 2017, with a promise to be properly integrated into the federal government’s Amnesty Programme with all associated benefits.(NIGERIAN TRIBUNE)