Dokubo claimed on Friday that the majority of oil theft cases in the oil-rich region could be attributed to the Nigerian Army and Navy.
By Johnson Atoukudu:
The Nigerian Navy has issued a challenge to Asari Dokubo, a former agitator and leader of Niger Delta militants, to provide the names of officers implicated in crude oil theft.
Dokubo claimed on Friday that the majority of oil theft cases in the oil-rich region could be attributed to the Nigerian Army and Navy. He made these remarks during a briefing with State House reporters following a private meeting with President Bola Tinubu at the Aso Rock Villa.
“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,” Dokubo had said.
However, Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, the spokesperson for the Nigerian Navy, dismissed the accusation as baseless and reckless.
He explained that the anger expressed by oil thieves stemmed from the fact that the Nigerian Navy, along with the entire military, has been effectively preventing them from sabotaging the economy through the ongoing “Operation DAKATAR DA BARAWO.” Ayo-Vaughan emphasized that the Nigerian Navy, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, will continue to obstruct the efforts of crude oil thieves to undermine Nigeria’s economy. In an interview with Daily Trust, he stated, “If Asari Dokubo has any names, let him present them.
The Nigerian Navy is eager to know the identities of those involved, as the Navy has zero tolerance for any form of criminal activity, including the level of theft alleged by Asari Dokubo.”
“The Navy has an operation in the Niger-Delta that has been running for over one year plus to curb oil theft. Operation DAKATAR DA BARAWO has denied oil thieves more than N76billion worth of crude oil. The money that would have helped them to further increase their illegal artisanal refineries.
“So, the Navy is actively fighting oil theft. For anybody to make such spurious allegations, bring the names. He (Dokubo) is in the Niger Delta, he has boys in the Niger Delta.
“The company that was given a contract by the NNPC on pipeline surveillance, they are working with the Nigerian Navy and Operation Delta Safe in the Niger-Delta to curb oil theft.
“For somebody to just make such unguarded statement, bring the names. You know that there is an operation (Operation DAKATA BARAWO) going on in the Niger Delta being run by the Nigerian Navy since April last year. The Navy has been running it in synergy with the NNPC.
“NNPC holds regular meetings with the Chief of Naval Staff to review the operations. Just last week, the Chief Executive of NUPREC was here to have a meeting with CNS. Just two days ago, the management team for the other one on downstream regulatory authority were also here to have a meeting. For us, if you want to make such spurious allegations, bring the names. Simple.”