By Emma Nnadozie
The Inspector-General of Police, Ogbonna Onovo, Weekend ordered serious onslaught against pipeline vandals all over the federation.Â To this end, no fewer than 300 heavily armed Police officers and men have been deployed immediately to critical active segments in the country. Â
The Police boss has also ordered the Deputy Inspector-General of Police, John Ahmedu and the Assistant Commissioner of Police in-charge of IGP Monitoring Unit, Chris Ezike to ensure full-scale deployment to those areas in order to contain the activities of vandals and economic saboteurs all over the country.
Sources at the Louis Edet Headquarters of the Force in Abuja hinted that moves towards actualizing this feat kicked off even before the new NNPC management came on board.Â According to the sources, meetings have been going on between NNPC top management staff and the Police with a view to checkmating the activities of vandals.Â The new Group Managing Director then Group Executive Director was part of the meetings.
Based on these meetings, it was gathered that the IGP ordered the immediate compliance and full scale deployment of personnel to all the pipeline routes because, according to the sources, the importance of oil to the overall economy and well-being of Nigeria cannot be over-emphasized and therefore, oil installations and safety of oil workers is the duty of the Police since they are constitutionally charged with the protection of lives and property.
It was gathered that as at date, about 100 Policemen have been deployed to Atlas Cove, 50 to Kaduna and Kano pipeline routes, 10 to Calabar Jetty and Depot, while an expected number of 100 was deployed last Friday towards Mosimi and Ore routes.Â Already, it was hinted that more personnel are mustering within the South-East and South-South zones for deployment to Warri and Port Harcourt sectors.
On the area of logistics and preparedness for the task ahead, the sources said NNPC is building tents for the Policemen since these pipelines are in undulating terrains.Â Â â€œBoth NNPC and the Police have provided vehicles for the smooth operation of the task.Â On their part, the management of NNPC are said to be positively disposed to this renewed relationship with the Police because the re-organisation in the oil sector will come to nothing if the pipelines are not protected and they are giving it their full cooperationâ€, one of the sources disclosed.
Crime Alert learnt also that the men called up for the duty are fully armed to contain any eventuality and the Officers have been scheduled to inspectÂ their activities to ensure strict compliance with the IGPâ€™s directives.Â â€œWe are collaborating with both the Joint Task Force and other security agencies within the operational areas and would follow the new initiative.Â What the IGP has done is like a renewed effort so long as the pipelines are thereâ€, another source said.
Concerted efforts made to speak with the Deputy Inspector-General of Police supervising the operation, John Ahmedu were not possible as he was said to be on tour of some parts of the Federation at the instance of the IGP while his second in command, ACP Chris Ezike could also not be reached as he was said to be in Lagos overseeing the deployment of Police personnel for the pipeline duties at Atlas Cove, Mossimi, Ore and Ibadan areas.