By; Amos Tauna, Kaduna
Concerned Northern Forum in conjunction with other civil society groups in Northern Nigeria, have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to look critically into the position of the Nigeria Customs Service and Nigeria Navy over the outrageous claims of theft in the oil and gas sector by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The group noted that both can’t be wrong while the NNPC is right, suggesting that heavy sanction should be imposed on the top management of the company.
Addressing newsmen in Kaduna on Sunday on the state of the nation, Malam Ibrahim Bature, Chairman, Concerned Northern Forum, stated that the group deduced that the subsidy regime that has regularly stopped the NNPC from contributing revenue into the Federation Account for sharing during FAAC meetings is the greatest crime being perpetrated against Nigerians that has denied them infrastructural development.
It advised the federal government to consider ending the subsidy, so as to take the feeding bottle away from the mouths of cartels stealing the common wealth through the subsidy regime.
They stated, “That we vehemently reject and oppose the pipeline Surveillance Contract the NNPCLTD awarded to Tompolo, hence, it should be terminated with immediate effect.
“Urge the Federal Government to channel the 48 Billion Naira Tompolo will be earning annually to address the developmental and environmental need of the Niger Delta people. Rather than sharing such funds for the boys.”
Malam Ibrahim Bature then called on Mr President to immediately sack the Head of NIGCOMSAT for failing to effectively cover the territory and expose crime to the relevant authority and by declaring a state of emergency in the NNPCLTD by appointing Military Administrators to watch over the affairs of the Company pending when investigation will be concluded into the subsidy regime that cost the country trillions of Naira annually.
He commended the National Assembly for initiating the ongoing probe into the subsidy regime and urged them to make the process public, through live broadcast.
The group warned that NNPC management not to even try to make fool of Nigerians by saying both Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Custom are envious of them and trying to sabotage their hard work, saying that it has realized the real oil theft is not done on the pipeline but in the office.
“The contract awarded to Tampolo will only teach our youths, it’s better to be thugs, fugitive than a loyal citizen. With incidences like these, we have no choice than to answer the calls by some Northern Governors to defend ourselves against the Banditry and Kidnapping bedeviling our region, and this will resort to the use of weapons which will later result in another big problem in the future,” the group opined.
It urged the federal government to please listen to the clarion call, do the needful so that the citizens would not rebel against the state.
According to the group, since the revelation of the award of Pipeline Surveillance contract to Government Ekpemupolo aka Tompolo and others came to public knowledge, the country has been charged over the decision of the Federal Government and NNPC LTD to award security contract to private individuals, especially those the group alleged with negative records of raising arms against the state before they were granted Amnesty.
The group lamented that Northern region is profusely bleeding human bloods, as a result of activities of terrorists that included Islamic State in West Africa (ISWAP), Boko Haram, Banditry, Farmers/Herders clashes, stressing that all efforts by government seems to yield no results as the terrorist keep terrorizing the communities daily.
The group explained that crude oil can be purchased in the market, but the life of an individual is sacrosanct and can only be given by God and wondered why the government Nigerians overwhelmingly voted for, would choose to pay attention to crude oil theft, more than the lives and properties of the people that voted them to power.