…By Dorcas Funmi for TDPel Media.
Allegations of military involvement in oil theft in the South-South region made by former Niger Delta militant leader Mujahid Asari Dokubo have drawn a swift response from the Nigerian Navy.
Dokubo had accused the military high command, specifically the Army and Navy, of being at the center of oil bunkering activities in the Niger Delta.
He claimed that the complex process of oil bunkering, which involves connecting pipes directly to oil wells to extract crude oil, is beyond the means and technological capabilities of ordinary citizens.
In a reaction to Dokubo’s statement, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, spokesperson for the Nigerian Navy, dismissed the allegations as “spurious and unguarded.”
Ayo-Vaughan challenged Dokubo to provide the names of officers involved in crude oil theft.
He emphasized that the Navy has a zero-tolerance policy towards any form of criminal activity, including oil theft.
The Nigerian Navy has been actively engaged in Operation DAKATAR DA BARAWO, an operation in the Niger Delta aimed at curbing oil theft.
This operation has reportedly prevented oil thieves from siphoning crude oil worth over N76 billion and has disrupted illegal artisanal refineries.
Ayo-Vaughan highlighted the Navy’s collaboration with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and Operation Delta Safe in the Niger Delta to combat oil theft.
He mentioned that a company contracted by the NNPC for pipeline surveillance works in tandem with the Nigerian Navy and Operation Delta Safe.
Regular meetings between the NNPC and the Chief of Naval Staff are held to review operations and address concerns.
Ayo-Vaughan stressed that if Dokubo wishes to substantiate his allegations, he should provide specific names.
He further noted that the ongoing Operation DAKATAR DA BARAWO has been running since April of the previous year, with the Navy maintaining close coordination with the NNPC.
The Nigerian Navy firmly refutes the claims made by Asari Dokubo and stands committed to combating oil theft and criminal activities in the Niger Delta.
They call for concrete evidence to support the allegations put forth by Dokubo, emphasizing the Navy’s dedication to maintaining security and integrity in the region.
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