Alamieyesieha Opens Up On Oil Theft In Nigeria, Says Obasanjo Shielded Big Oil Thieves
Convicted former governor of Bayelsa state, Chief Solomon Alamieyesieha today flared up before members of the national conference committee on Public Finance and accused former President Olusegun Obasanjo of complicity in the massive theft of the nation’s oil resources.
The former governor made the allegation in the presence of officials of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, who appeared before the confab committee in Abuja today. The former governor was convicted for corruption after his impeachment as Bayelsa governor but was recently granted presidential pardon by President Goodluck Jonathan.
While justifying his claim before the committee today, Alamieyesiegha said “I had one experience. Tankers were loaded in Bayelsa. I got the information and laid ambush for them and arrested them. About 14 big tankers and they were handed over to the police. They were charged to court and the judge ordered that the product should be tested to confirm that they were crude oil. NNPC was invited, they came took the sample and after a week the result came out as agro chemical and before I know all of them have been released.
“I went to President Obasanjo. I even accused him that he is the chief bunkerer, that he should not call me again. I also accused him that those that are involved are also sitting in this arena and if he pushed me beyond that I am going to mention names. It became so hot that I was persuaded to follow him to his office. He held my hand and we entered. So there is actually enough intelligence that is open to the presidency. He himself, President Obasanjo, started mentioning names. I said ‘oh, you are the chief bunkerer, I confirm, you know them, don’t call me again”.
Alamieseigha also declared that expatriates in the oil sector are also deeply involved in the illegal business and even collaborated with militants to kidnap themselves in the heydays of militancy in the Niger Delta region.
“In fact expatriates are more involved in the crime than Nigerians. In fact some of them even offer themselves to be arrested so that when there is compensation they have a share of it. They are also involved in kidnapping. They allow themselves to be kidnapped. Oil companies are invited, their home countries will shout that their men are kidnapped; management of oil companies will now make efforts and pay ransom. When the ransom is paid they are released and that money is shared among them. So, it is a high level conspiracy that is going on”, he added.
He also accused retired naval officers of being involved in oil theft and stressed that the local boys that are regularly arrested for oil theft are mere “escorts” as they do not have the international connections to sell stolen crude oil.
“The so-called militants we celebrate that tap oil they are only employed as escorts. If there is no buyer we will not find a seller. The post retirement job of a senior naval officer is bunkering. None of those boys you see in the Niger Delta have the necessary connections to bring ships to our economic zone to lift. Those that are making the connections are also part of us.”
Apart from the expatriates, Alamieyeseigha, who declared that 50 percent of Nigerian oil is stolen daily, also accused foreign embassies of being aware of the illegal purchase of crude oil from Nigeria.
“In fact almost 50 percent of what we produce in this country is being siphoned outside to augment the international market. And where is it oil going? It is going to those countries and they know the type of oil that is coming out from Nigeria. It is different from others. The sulphur content here is very low and they know this but everybody is gaining from it.
“Let the federal government send warning letter to all the embassies that are in this country and give them three months. After three months if we see any ship that is not authorized in our economic zone, especially in the Niger Delta, it will destroyed. Involve the navy, but few assault helicopters, buy missiles and after the three months any ship you see inside there by the time you destroy one, two ship no country will allow their ship to ship to enter and so there will be no buyer”, he stressed.
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