Army, navy aware of 99% oil theft — Dokubo tells Tinubu 

Leader of the Niger Delta Volunteer Force NDVF, and former Niger Delta agitator, Alhaji Asari Dokubu, Friday, said over 99 per cent of oil theft in the country was carried out by the army and navy. Dokubo made the allegation after meeting behind closed doors with President Bola Tinubu, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The former agitator, who refuted claims that people from the oil-rich region were those involved in oil theft and pipelines vandalism, alleged that the people perpetuating oil bunkering in the Niger Delta region are powerful cabals most times operating from Abuja with an entitlement mentality.

He argued that ordinary Niger Delta citizens who are often blamed for these criminal activities are not responsible as they do not have the wherewithal to perform the stealing, saying there are ‘notorious’ Army and Naval oil kingpins that have engaged in an unprecedented crude oil theft in the last eight years.

He said the way the oil thieves have gone about their criminal activities has stripped the people of the Niger Delta of their livelihood, noting that it is a crime against humanity.

What Dokubo told President Tinubu confirmed Saturday Vanguard special report on oil theft last week. Our report had quoted informed Niger Delta stakeholders saying that Tinubu would have to step on toes to crush oil thieves. Our report also wondered if those neck deep in a crime can crush it as Tinubu had in the week earlier charged the military to do. The report highlighted the fact the army, navy, police, DSS were all involved in crude oil theft.

Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, Dokubo said that the reason behind his visit was to give words of encouragement to the President for his actions and pronouncements since he assumed office.

According to him, “The president is a fatherly figure to me. Our relationship spans over 30 years. I came here today to give words of encouragement to the President for the actions and policies so far made in this less than three weeks of governing a very difficult country like Nigeria.

“We discussed a wide range of issues, especially on security and oil theft in the Niger Delta. Myself and my brothers have assured the President that there would be zero oil theft and vandalization in the Niger Delta. We’re going to work with an NNPCL and the IOCs to make sure that oil theft is brought to zero.

“I also want to say that oil theft is encouraged by the military. The military is at the centre of oil theft and we have to make this very clear to the Nigerian public. 99 per cent of oil theft can be traced to the Nigerian military, the army and the navy especially.

“The Army and the Navy intimidate the Civil Defence, who are by status, the people who are supposed to guard these pipelines.
They receive a lot of money from NNPCL and the IOCs and just across the corner, you will see a houseboat, a few meters from the houseboat, you will see an oil bunkering refinery or tapping directly from oil well.

“It is very pathetic now. What is happening in the Niger Delta in the past eight years was unprecedented in the history of oil production anywhere in the world. The vandals do not only attack the pipelines, they have migrated from the pipeline and have gone directly to the oil well heads and they take directly from the oil well heads. They set up haphazard facilities they call local refineries, artisanal refineries; this is crime against humanity because the livelihood of the people is being totally destroyed. “The livelihood of the people is totally destroyed and at every meter, you see a naval houseboat or an army house boat stationed.

So the main culprits are the Army and the Navy and there are notorious naval commanders who are known to be kingpins of these bunkering activities. Even if they give one billion contracts to everybody in the Niger Delta, because these military men are armed from the Army and the Navy nothing will happen.

“The President has promised to take decisive action to make sure that this does not continue, and that it is brought to an end. It is very shameful. So I had volunteered to help, to assist and to do the things that are necessary to put a stop to this evil that is being perpetrated against the people of the Niger Delta, the oil community and the whole of Nigerians”, he said.

The former militant further disclosed that ‘his men’ were deployed in different parts of the country maintaining peace, adding that it was his ‘men’ that have made it possible for Nigerians to travel from Abuja to Kaduna and vice versa.

He said, “I am a participant in this war, I fight on the side the government of the Nigerian state; in Plateau, in Niger, in Anambra, in Imo, in Abia and in Rivers state and in Abuja. Today you’re travelling to Kaduna on this road, it’s not the army that makes it possible for you to travel to Abuja, or travel to Kaduna. It is my men, employed by the government of the Nigerian state, stationed in Niger.

“Today you travel to Baga, you go to Shiroro, you go to Wase. We have lost so many men and in all these engagements, we don’t even have one per cent of the armament deployed by the Nigerian military and we have had resounding success. So this blackmail must end, they have enough resources to fight. Instead of fighting, they are busy stealing, they are busy making the government spend unnecessarily”, he said.

Dokubo also alleged that it is an act of blackmail for the military to say that they have insufficient armaments to deal with insecurity, accusing them of forfeiting their weapons to the insurgents, which continued to fuel the insurgency.

According to him, Nigeria is currently going through a full-scale war in different parts of the country, adding that he had continued to render mercenary services to the federal government to keep all parts of the country safe for citizens to be able to travel and go about their businesses safely

“On security, I want to clearly say that there are full-scale wars going on in different parts of this country. In the Southeast, the IPOB/ESN is waging a full-scale war against the government of this country and many local governments, many communities are deserted, schools are closed, and hospitals are closed.

“In the same vein, in Niger, in Zamfara, in Plateau, in Kaduna, in Yobe, in Borno, we’re only talking about Boko Haram. Boko Haram is just the tip of the iceberg, there’s a full-scale war going on and the blackmail of the Nigerian state by the Nigerian military is shameful. They said they do not have enough armament and people listened to this false narrative. They are lying. They are liars, I repeat they are liars because I’m a participant.”