PENGASSAN Accuses Security Agents, Host Communities Of Oil Theft
The President of the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, Festus Osifo, has accused security agents, host communities and some international collaborators of colluding to steal the country’s oil.
“There is total collusion going on in the Niger Delta. That collusion cuts across all stakeholders in the industry cuts across all strata of Nigerians.
“It includes the security agencies sent to that particular area to man those pipelines, it includes people from the host communities, it includes people that are not from the host communities, they have international collaborators, they have some people who are even working in the oil and gas industry or may have retired. So, it is a big business going on,” Osifo said Saturday on Channels Television’s Sunrise programme.
PENGASSAN had on Thursday staged a nationwide protest and threatened to shut down oil production in Nigeria for 30 days if the Federal Government fails to stop oil theft and vandalism.
“Why do we keep producing and at the end of the day we have some miscreants out there stealing?” the PENGASSAN president queried.
Osifo said his members had engaged the government, security agencies, host communities, and stakeholders to put an end to the menace of oil theft but the discussions were yet to yield any results hence the protest held on Thursday.
He said, “We have engaged government in the last year. We have engaged the regulators and the stakeholders to the operators and the security agencies.
“We have engaged them on how to curb this menace of oil theft because for us, our members cannot continue to labour in vain and for us, on a daily basis, we go into the creeks, we go into the oil production facilities in different parts of the country.
“We cannot keep producing oil and pumping them into pipelines and at the end of the day, majority of the oil is stolen.”
‘Agitation In National Interest’
Osifo said some oil companies cannot meet the salary obligations of staff because of oil theft.
“We have made various recommendations on what can be done for both the long term and the short run but they are foot-dragging to implement these things. For us, it is out of national interest,” he added.
Osifo noted that many PENGASSAN members are being threatened to resume production by vandals who want to steal the crude.
He also said that oil companies operating in the Niger Delta pay security agents to protect their installations in the oil-rich region but the government must end.
“The government must develop the will to stop the crimes,” he noted.
On the way forward, Osifo said, “We are ready to partner with government, we are ready to provide the needed information, that we have been doing and we are already doing.
“There is a lot of research all over the world. Mexico was facing this kind of issue at a time but today Mexico has been able to put that behind them. In Saudi Aramco, if you see the entire control of Saudi Aramco, it spans several hectares because they use that control system to monitor what happens across the field locations and the installations.”
He added that the government must quickly meet with the host communities for efficient dialogue, adding that security agents who compromise must face court martial and be jailed if found guilty.
Osifo said the government must also invest in technology like drones to monitor oil pipelines in the country.
Frank Nweke Jr. Casts Vote, Addresses Reports Of Violence By PDP In Enugu
Frank Nweke Jr has cast his vote in Ozalla and addressed newsmen immediately after, citing reports of violence and voter intimidation by the People’s Democratic Party in many parts of Enugu State.
He also revealed that an APGA House of Assembly candidate was attacked and almost killed this morning in Udenu and the five polling units cordoned off by men in security outfits.
Enugu2023: APC Collapses Structure For APGA, Burns Brooms And Party Artefacts
Members of the All Progressives Congress in Ozzi Edem, Nsukka Local Government Area, have collapsed their structure, vowing to redirect their energy into ensuring the victory of Frank Nweke Jr as the next Governor of Enugu State.
Addressing the community at Afor Ozzi market, the former ward chairman of now defunct All Progressives Congress in Ozzi Edem ward, Hon. Mathew Enete said that their decision was based on the premises that APGA is their own party. They vowed to prove this at the polls on March 11.
The declaration was followed by the burning of brooms and other party artefacts.
In his address, Nweke thanked the Edem people for the warm welcome they accorded him and for aligning with APGA’s core philosophy of shared prosperity – being one’s brothers and sister’s keeper where nobody is left behind.
Nweke assured the people of his commitment to rehabilitate the major road that led to the Edem community, which has remained in terrible condition for decades.
He vowed to ensure that all outstanding pensions are paid and further guarantee the timely and regular payment of pensions and gratuities to retirees.
Nweke therefore urged the people to vote massively for him and other APGA candidates for the State House of Assembly on March 11, so that with his emergence as Governor, he will fulfil his promises to the good people of Enugu State.
He concluded by welcoming the former members of the All Progressives Congress to the All Progressives Grand Alliance, stating that he was confident that God would grant their request for good leadership.
Protest In Enugu Over Murder Of LP Senatorial Candidate, Oyibo Chukwu
A group of concerned indigenes of Enugu State under the aegis of Citizen Against Violence, at the weekend staged a peaceful protest on the streets of Enugu metropolis, demanding justice for the late 2023 Labour Party candidate for the Enugu East senatorial zone, Barr Oyibo Chukwu.
He was recently killed alongside five others and burnt by yet to be identified gunmen.
The protesters, who were clad in black and black attires, were led by kinsmen of the slain Labour Party chieftain who hailed from Amuri in Nkanu West local government area of Enugu State.
Leader of the group and immediate past Enugu State chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Dr Ben Nwoye called for an end to political killings in the state.
Nwoye said what they were demanding was nothing but “Justice for Barr Chukwu who was brutally murdered on February 22 on his way back from campaign.”
He said the Amuri people have lost a rare gem who had contributed meaningfully to the development of the area and called for an investigation into his murder and the perpetrators brought to book.
It would be recalled that since the incident occurred, there had been series of protests across the state including the one staged by lawyers.
The protesters carrying placards with inscriptions such as “we demand for Justice for Oyibo Chukwu”, “What has our brother done to be murdered like a goat” urged the security agencies to fish out the perpetrators of the evil act.
Before taking to the streets, they had stormed the premises of the State High Court and the Court of Appeal where they equally registered their displeasure of the killing.
Some of the protesters who spoke with our correspondent decried the gruesome killing of the former chairman of NBA, Oji River branch who came out to represent his constituents under Labour Party but was allegedly murdered.
Another protester who gave his name as Mr Kenneth Egbo, said “today it is Oyibo Chukwu, tomorrow who knows who will be the next?”
He emphasised that politics was never a do or die game, advising the constituents to be careful of the people they vote into power during the March 11 elections.