By Gabriel Enogholase
BENIN—NATIONAL Chairman of Host Communities of Nigeria, HOSTCOM, Bishop Mike Emuh, has threatened to expose those he claims are behind oil and pipelines vandalism as well as operation of illegal refineries in the Niger Delta region.
He also disclosed that the Federal Government votes about N60 billion annually to fight the ugly menace without much success.
Bishop Emuh spoke in Benin City, Edo State, yesterday, during the passing-out ceremony of 420 cadets and four principal officers after a two-week training on intelligence gathering who will in turn train those that will protect pipelines and check illegal bunkering.
He advised the newly trained officers to abide by the rules and regulations that were taught them during the training and respect constituted authority, as he assured them that they will be posted to various areas in Nigeria to carry out their assignments.
He disclosed that the decision to train 10,000 youths for pipeline surveillance duties by HOSTCOM was an initiative of the Federal Government.
He said: “One of the problems in the Niger Delta is that of oil theft, pipeline vandalism and illegal refineries by oil cartels. Every year, the Federal Government votes close to N60 billion to check this scourge, but it has not been stopped.
“I want to say that the Host Communities in Nigeria are of great support to the development of the country and the voice of Niger Delta. They are the umbrella of oil producing states in Nigeria. We are putting an end to pipeline vandalism and illegal bunkering.
“The exercise is to let Nigerians and the world know that we are peace loving people, but we are neglected and our youths that graduated from schools are unemployed. People of the Niger Delta, this is the time to take the bull by the horns.”
“We don’t care to know who those who involved in oil thieves or pipelines vandalism. We are here to tell the whole world that the cartels and cabals responsible for this bad acts will be expose and brought to book.”
He disclosed that the graduands were expected to work with other security agencies in the country and other groups to enable them fulfil their mission.