FORMER Niger Delta militant leader, Asari Dokubo, has accused the Nigerian military of being directly involved in oil theft within the region.
Dokubo told State House correspondents after a closed-door meeting with President Bola Tinubu on Friday, June 16, that ordinary Niger Delta citizens, who are often held accountable for such actions, lacked the resources and will to carry out such activities.
He promised to work with other groups to completely stop the massive oil theft happening in the region.
“Myself and my brothers have assured the President that there will be zero oil theft and vandalization in the Niger Delta. We’re going to walk with an NPPCL and the IOCs to make sure that oil tapped is brought to zero,” he said.
According to the former militant leader, there are some powerful groups operating from Abuja who are involved in the unprecedented oil theft over the past eight years, adding that they have now met their match and would be sent to prison.
Dokubo revealed that President Tinubu has promised to investigate allegations of huge oil bunkering by notorious naval commanders.
“The military is at the centre of oil theft and we have to make this very clear to the Nigerian public that 99 per cent of oil theft can be traced to the Nigerian military, the Army and the Navy especially,” he said.
He also accused the military of intimidating the Civil Defence Corps detailed to safeguard the pipelines and the oil wells, adding that “they received a lot of money from NNPCL and IOC.”
Dokunbo also stated that the manner in which the oil thieves had gone about their criminal activities had stripped the people of the Niger Delta of their livelihood, “and it is a crime against humanity.”
He described it is an act of blackmail for the military to claim lack of adequate weapons to address the security challenges in the country, accusing them of surrendering their weapons to the insurgents, thereby fuelling insurgency in the country.
He said, “The blackmail of the Nigerian state by the Nigerian military is shameful. They said they do not have enough armament and people listen to these false narratives. So this blackmail must end. They have enough resources to fight.”
Dokubo stressed that releasing the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, would not ease the tension in the South-East. Rather, he argued, it would fuel impunity.
“During EndSars, Nnamdi Kanu was walking free. What did he do? He poured petrol on the flames of EndSars. Now, he has been caught. What of the people who have died? This is a criminal. He should face the law.
“Releasing Nnamdi Kanu is rewarding criminality and rewarding gruesome murder of innocent people. He should face the law for the actions and instigations he has carried out,” he said.f