BREAKING: Nigeria Burns Seized Vessels To Avoid Probing High-Profile Figures Involved In Oil Theft
Chairman of the Bayelsa Traditional Rulers’ Council, Bubaraye Dakolo, has claimed that Nigerian authorities burnt an intercepted vessel carrying barrels of stolen crude oil in Bayelsa to avoid investigating those involved in oil theft in the country.
Dakolo made this known in an exclusive interview with Arise News on Wednesday, where he claimed that the people the Nigerian government had been parading as suspects of oil thefts were actually victims of circumstances surrounding oil theft in the country.
It was reported how the Joint Task Force, Operation Delta Safe, working with Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited in the Escravos region of Delta State burnt a seized vessel on Tuesday.
The captain and crew were held on board the ship, which was allegedly owned by a company based in Nigeria, as it was sailing to Cameroon with the cargo.
According to Captain Warredi Enisuoh, Executive Director, Operations Technical, Tantita Security Services, “The whole point of destroying the ship is to send a message to those who invest in illegality in Nigerian waters that this is what it is going to take if they so wish to engage in this kind of business.”
He added that the oil cargo was illegally obtained from an offshore well-jacketed vessel at the time of the arrest and did not have any legal documentation.
The said vessel had operated in stealth mode for the last 12 years.
Commenting on this situation, Bubaraye Dakolo said the seized vessel was set ablaze to avoid investigating those truly behind the crime.
He said, “I can tell you for free that the vehicle was burnt because it was cheaper to burn it rather than to rein in the oil thief that is behind it all.”
The monarch went on to say that the young people arrested as the masterminds of these illegal oil theft were not truly those behind the crime.
He claimed that real criminals are the wealthy and so-called prominent Nigerians who have luxurious properties in the cities.
He continued: “Usually what Nigeria has done for decades is to parade the young, helpless, uneducated youth from the Niger Delta as the typical thief. But I argue that he shouldn’t be called a thief but to be rehabilitated.
“He belongs to a place where you have to educate him, reorientate him and make him a patriotic Nigerian.
“He’s a victim of oil thieves. Today he may need to hear that the real thief of oil is someone who has a yacht, someone who has a golf course, someone who cannot sleep a night in the Niger Delta because of mosquitoes and insecurity.
“He’s someone who has land in Banana Island, in London, in Abuja, in Frankfurt, in New York City. Those are the thieves.”