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IPDI accuses Gov Diri of betraying N’Delta over call to handover pipeline surveillance contract to Navy



By Stephen Asaba-se

The Ijaw People’s Development Initiative, IPDI has tackled the governor of Bayelsa Sen. Douye Diri for calling for a review of the pipeline surveillance contract, so as to handover it to the Navy.

The group said the call is inimical, myopic and a complete betrayal of Niger Delta and Ijaw struggle for freedom, adding if it were given to him (Diri) he wouldn’t have call for a review.

The group, in a statement by its national president Amb. Ozobo Austin and its spokesman, Comrade Ezekiel Kagbala said Diri lacked power to criticise the Federal Government’s maritime protection policy of engaging private security outfits, such as Tantita Security Nigeria Limited and others to secure the maritime environment, especially in the Niger Delta. “The Navy was in charge of the pipeline surveillance and it failed to curb oil theft, hence the government resorted to option B. Except Diri is a poor student of history”.

The statement reads, “Diri’s recent call on the Federal Government to review the award of surveillance contract to private security was an irresponsible eye-service to please the Navy. Perhaps the doggedness of the frontline private security firm, Tantita Security is puting many oil cartels out of business and the business of oil theft is no longer lucrative.

“Governor Diri is a beneficiary of Niger Delta struggle and should be protecting the interest of the region especially now that he is enjoying from the entire region’s struggle. The private security firm he is referring to, duly merited the security contract due to track record of championing sustained peace that guarantee oil exploration activities to the benefits of the Federal Government and multinational companies.

“It is pertinent to state that despite the militarisation of the region for decades, oil theft unabatedly bled the nation’s wealth while the cartel smiled to the banks at that time. Where was Diri when illegal oil bunkering ruined the Niger Delta environment? Where was he when ‘Kpofire’ was sending young people to their early Graves? It is unfortunate that Diri is currently exhibiting his selfish and ruined interest?, IPDI queried.

“We advise him to stop his anti-Ijaw campaign against High Chief Government Ekpemupolo, also known as Tompolo. He should stop this political interest, he is speaking because he felt some persons did not supported him, hence he must remove food from their mouths. May be he is afraid that those he sees as a threat may get themselves equipped through the private security contract to come and take over the state political structure from him. This is shameful, trading the collective interest of your people because of personal political interest is suicidal. Diri’s current partnership with the Nigerian Navy against Ijaw nation and Niger Delta people is unfortunate, repulsive and absurd.

IPDI said Diri should not be taken serious for his disconcertion and deviation from current realities that; militarisation of the Niger Delta region does not guaranteed security of the Nation’s oil wealth domiciled in the region, but encouraged oil theft even in an official capacity.

“His careless statements suggest that he (Diri) is anti-Ijaw and anti-Niger Delta, a terrible failure, disappointment to his father’s land and the entire Ijaw nation”, IPDI added.