BREAKING NEWS: Ijaw youths tackle ex-minister for linking Okuama killings to pipeline protection contract

Ijaw youths tackle ex-minister for linking Okuama killings to pipeline protection contract

Ijaw tackle ex-minister for linking killings to pipeline protection contract

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The Ijaw Youths Network, IYN, on Friday faulted a former Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Tajudeen Olarenwaju, for linking the killing of 16 officers and soldiers of the in Okuama, , to the pipeline protection contract awarded by the Federal Government.

Olarenwaju had asserted that it is unsafe for non state actors to protect oil installations in the country, linking the killings to the contract which is being implemented by Tantita Security Services Limited.

However, faulting the ex-minister's claims, the IYN in a statement by its Coordinator, Frank Ebikabo, and Secretary, Federal Ebiaridor, said Olarenwaju reechoed the narrative being peddled by oil thieves and their cohorts who did not get the pipeline contract.

The IYN added that Olarenwaju should be commiserating with the Army at its moment of grief, rather than stirring needless controversy.

According to the IYN, the retired General should be concerned about how to track down and those behind the murder of the personnel.

The group noted that Olarenwaju cannot claim ignorance of massive theft of Nigeria's oil resources, a development which it said forced the Federal Government to explore the use of private security outfits to complement the efforts of the military and security outfits to protect oil installations.

Parts of the statement read, “It is shocking that the General is reducing the cold blooded murder of soldiers as a fallout of gang violence in the region. This is an attempt to twist the facts of the matter.

“There is no link between the private security outfits and the gruesome murder of soldiers on lawful duty. This rush to throw curious, unsolicited advice should be beneath him.

“His suggestion is personal opinion inspired by lack of understanding of the of the nation's oil sector or a classic case of selective amnesia.

“Such hurried viewpoints seem to suggest that some ingrained interest who are jolted by the gains of the campaigns of oil theft are at work.

“The military assets of the country are already over stretched. Successive Presidents have engaged private security outfits to the lethal scourge of oil theft in Nigeria. It is not unusual and it is a trend that is commonplace around the world.

“Even developed countries such as the US and the UK also employ the services private security consultants to maximize security of critical assets and facilities.

“Prior to the renewal of the contract of Tantita Security Services, the General had not found it necessary to besiege the media space about the purported inappropriateness of engaging private security to fight oil theft.

“Perhaps, the various feats accomplished by Tantita and the widespread recognition accorded to the company should convince the General that private security outfits do not constitute any danger to the security of the nation's critical oil pipeline.

“What should be of concern to the General is the sad story of oil theft that made the President and the NNPC to seek proactive response to the problem that threatened the nation's existence.”

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