By Jimitota Onoyume, Warri
Speaking against the backdrop of calls by the Arewa Youths Assembly, AYA, to the federal government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, not to award a pipeline surveillance contract to the ex-militant leader, Chief Government Ekpemupolo, aka Tompolo, and some others in the Niger delta, a Warri based key player in the oil and gas sector, Mr Erefoluwa Keke has described as condemnable the statement by the youth body.
His words, “because it makes no sense to call on the management of NNPC to stop the award of pipelines surveillance contract to community leaders in the riverine and rural areas of Delta State, that have handled such project in the past with huge positive result.
‘I am particularly shocked by the statement of Abdulsalami Mohammed- Kazeem, considering the fact that the country’s daily production of crude oil has plummeted to an abysmally low 1.417 million barrels (short of OPEC production quota) due to pipeline vandalism/crude oil theft.
‘What really is the interest of Arewa Youths Assembly as regards competent locals keeping a close watch on oil and gas pipelines that pass through their communities, when the same group had not offered the necessary intelligence to the Nigerian military, to stop banditry and terrorism in the Northern part of the country’?
“The CEO of NNPC, Mele Kolo Kyari, should ignore the distractive rant by Mohammed-Kazeem’s group and go ahead with award of the pipelines surveillance contract to Tompolo. I strongly believe with the support of Chief Ayirimi Emami, who has been a consistent voice against crude oil theft and pipeline vandalism, with the requisite competence and experience, pipeline vandalism and crude oil theft, would be brought to ground zero’.