*We intervened to stop looming anarchy-Delta Police CP
Coordinator, Sector ‘C’ Command of the Surveillance and Enforcement Team of the Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria, IPMAN, Delta State, Eshanekpe Israel, a.k.a Akpodoro has alleged collusion of some men in police uniform with pipeline vandals and petroleum adulterators, urging the Inspector General of Police and the Chief of Staff to the president, Prof . Ibraham Gambari to investigate this claim.
In a June 24, 2021 dated letter to the Chief Staff, Ambassador Ibrahim Gambari, made available to our correspondent, Eshanekpe, appointed Co-ordinator by the Elder Chinedu Okoronkwo-led presidency of IPMAN January 2021, alleged that some men in police uniform have been in an unholy alliance with those he described as culprits in pipeline vandalism, oil theft, product adulteration, vandalism of oil company facilities and sundry crimes which he said the Enforcement Team of IPMAN, was out to fight the illegal bunkering in the state.
The former warlord in his petition, which was also copied to the National Security Adviser to the President, Bangana Monguno; the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Defence Minister, Chairman Police Service Commission, Police Affairs Minister, NNPC GMD, DG DSS, the Inspector General of Police, IGP , DIG Ops , Force Secretary and others, accused security men of aiding and abetting crimes in the distribution chain of the oil industry.
Pointedly, Eshanekpe stated that, right from his first discharge of their assignment sometime in February that the body language of some of these men in police uniform reeked of disdain for the war against economic saboteurs in the state, which he described as the melting point of criminalities in the downstream oil industry.
According to Eshanekpe, were it not for the collaboration between the IPMAN Team and the Operation Delta Safe, OPDS, who supported the fight, the IPMAN outfit wouldn’t have been able to achieve the little it had achieved in terms of making the state hot for oil thieves, illegal bunkerers, wellhead thieves and product adulterators.
He explained, “I didn’t appoint myself, I am not a trader in petroleum products but I was mandated by the leadership of the IPMAN based on my tracks record as an ex-militant leader, who was instrumental to disarming NDA , I worked tirelessly with the military to stamp out the Niger Delta Avengers in 2016 and my records are there. The IPMAN President is the one I report to but these element(s), I suspect want me to be paying royalty to them.
“All of these were reasons the President of IPMAN appointed and mandated me to lead the Surveillance and Enforcement Team of the IPMAN in Delta State.
“My team bursted a gang of wellhead thieves, we have destroyed over 50 million litres of stolen Automotive Gas Oil, AGO; We have impounded over 20 trucks laden with stolen products and the culprits were handed over to the Army. The umbrella body of the crooks are the ones, who in collaboration with the men in uniform are jittery and vowed to stop our operations.
Eshanekpe, who is also the Coordinator of the National Coalition of Niger Delta Ex-Agitators, NCNDE-A, stated that his team had succeeded where many failed, adding that, the huge success of his team is the reason this group is hounding him and his team members.
He prayed the President in the petition which was also copied the NNPC GMD and others to investigate this claim. Additionally, Akpodoro stated in his petition that these men in police uniform dismantled the checkpoints where so many vandals had hitherto been arrested in a manner that reeks of collusion with oil thieves.
However, in his reaction to the barrage of the allegations, the police boss in a telephone chat with our correspondent refuted the claims, stating that he stopped the operations of the outfit owing to the threats he received from a senior official of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG to lead the union to strike in the state following the activities of the IPMAN Team while we were settling the feud among them.
“There was need to forestall a looming industrial action by suspending activities of the IPMAN Team until they are able to sharpen their rough edges in order for all the segments in the distribution chain of the petroleum products in the state are able to work harmoniously together. Our position is to ensure peace reigns in the state and we would not allow any group or group of persons plunge the state into avoidable anarchy,” the CP explained.