By Adesina Wahab
The Sector ‘C’ Coordinator of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association, IPMAN, in Delta State, Eshanekpe Israel, a.k.a Akpodoro, has reacted to the publication in a section of the media where he was erroneously quoted to have blamed the continuous menace of products adulteration, vandalism and theft in the state on poor compliance by operatives of the Operation Delta Safe, ODS, including the Sector 1, Commander of the outfit in Effurun.
The former ex-militant leader noted that the Rear Admiral Akinjide Akinrinade-led ODS has been very supportive in the war to stamp out criminalities in the distribution chain of petroleum products.
This was contained in a statement issued in Ughelli, the operational base of the Akpodoro-led Surveillance and Enforcement Team of the IPMAN.
He absolved the Joint Task Force, JTF – ODS outfit of any blame, noting that their relationship had been very cordial and also productively geared towards the desire of achieving results in ensuring that crimes and criminalities in the petroleum industry in the state are reduced to the barest minimum.
He added that the military outfit had zero tolerance for product adulteration, oil and gas pipelines vandalism and product theft, stating that the said publication did not represent the realities in their symbiotic relationship.
The Coordinator further stated that the National President of IPMAN, Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo, had all it takes to win the war against those he described as economic saboteurs and who for years had feasted on the proceeds of their crimes without consequences.
He stated that in Delta State, in particular, every criminal action including pipeline vandalism and sundry crimes in the downstream oil sector shall be severally punished, noting that “a new Sheriff is in town.”
“I can assure you that we have more than a hundred per cent support from the ODS under Rear Admiral Akinrinade who is like a father to me and has been doing his possible best to protect my team to succeed and also, the Sector 1, Commander under whom the Delta State IPMAN Surveillance and Enforcement Team operates have been greatly forthcoming in providing support, including logistics for our operations to say otherwise is to be ungrateful.
“Our team is grateful to the military as we look forward to a more robust and stronger relationship to achieve maximum success,” Akpodoro stated.
Akpodoro, who doubles as the national President of the National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators, NCNDE-A, warned petroleum tanker drivers who act as purveyors of adulterated products either in the state or transiting through the state, that “it won’t be business as usual as whoever fails the quality test being conducted by Team will have their tankers impounded.
“Our national economy has suffered for too long in the hands of criminals in the petroleum industry and the time has come to end the menace and the end is coming from Delta State. IPMAN cannot afford to disappoint President Muhammadu Buhari, who reposed so much confidence in the Elder Okoronkwo-led presidency,” he said.