All Progressives Congress, APC governorship aspirant in Rivers state, Tonye Cole said the military is not responsible for 99 per cent of the crude oil theft happening in the Niger-Delta region.
Although, Cole told Saturday Vanguard that there was nothing new in what Dokubo-Asari said – that the military was complicit in crude oil theft.
He said, “But 99 per cent military involvement is way too much. I do not think the military is upset with Dokubo-Asari for accusing them of involvement.
“ Those at the helm of security cannot deny there are bad eggs among them, who aid oil theft, but to say 99 per cent means he (Asari) assumed that almost all the oil theft happening is being done solely by the military.”
Also reacting to the development, the president, Movement for Survival of Ogoni People, MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke, told Saturday Vanguard that the military involvement in crude oil theft is something already known and long established.
“Dokubo-Asari only re-echoed it. It is not just the army and navy, police are also involved,” he said.
Nsuke further stated, “Asari is not talking about what is new. The pipelines run in our communities and we see what happens to them.
“We see how they truck the stolen products across the country in a coordinated logistics system. Therefore, they cannot ask Asari or anyone else to name people they always transfer and replace.
“Former governor of Rivers state, Nyesom Wike, accused a brigade commander of this same crime, what was the response of the Defence Headquarters? They did nothing. MOSOP has severally raised the issue also, and they did nothing in response.
“To better understand police and military involvement, begin by seeking answers to how fake products get to petrol stations far and near despite the security on the roads.
“Understanding that alliance will bring you to the compromises that follow because they reported and investigated these crimes to the security posts, within the domains they moved the products.
”So it ends with alliances instead of punishments. However, it is much bigger than that. It has become a huge business and several incidences have shown compromise between the oil thieves and the military men sent to secure the pipelines.
“It is a complex and coordinated crime. It would have been better for the navy to be silent and use their intelligence to investigate these allegations, address the issues because they are real and Asari does not need to name anyone,” he said.[VANGUARD]