Defence Chief seeks partnership to combat oil theft, kidnapping in Bayelsa State


Gen. Lucky Irabor, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), is seeking partnership with communities and traditional rulers to combat Crude Oil theft and kidnapping in Bayelsa.

Irabor stated this on Wednesday, when he paid a courtesy visit to King Edmond Daukoru of Nembe Kingdom in Bayelsa, before interacting with men on special duty.

The Chief of Defense Staff, however, commended the security efforts of the traditional rulers of Nembe Kingdom, in Nembe Local Government Area of Bayelsa.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that this is the second time the CDS is visiting the Operation Delta Safe of the Joint Task Force (JTF), since he assumed office.

According to Irabor, he and his team were in Bayelsa in recognition of the crucial role of the government and the traditional rulers, in strengthening the operations of the country’s armed forces.

He added that the visit was also to solidify the partnership between both parties, particularly in combating oil theft, kidnapping and the destruction of oil facilities across the state.

The Defence Chief said that any form of destruction of the nation’s oil investment is a direct attack on the future of the country’s oil wealth.

He thanked Daukoru for his unrelenting support to the military and other security agencies.

Speaking, Daukoru, the Amayanabo (King) of Nembe Kingdom, commended the CDS and other Senior Military Officers who accompanied him on the visit.

He described as unfair the collusion of oil firms and regulatory bodies against the interest of host communities in the Niger Delta region.

Daukoru, a former Minister of of state for Petroleum, said that part of the security challenges in host communities are the injustice and unfair treatments by the oil companies, aided by the regulatory authorities.

He recalled that in November last year, oil and gas spillage in Nembe LGA, by AITEO Exploration and Production Limited facility, eventually resulted in litigation due to the manner the company and the regulatory bodies treated the impacted communities.

He said AITEO is yet to pay the balance of N1.5 billion owed the community, and urged the military Chief to help persuade the authority to pay the money.

Daukoru noted that Nembe had been peaceful due to the local vigilante group, put in place by the community, adding that his kingdom is open to collaborate, synergise and strengthen the existing relationship with the security agencies.

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