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Call for reversal of Tompolo’s Pipeline Surveillance Contract thickens

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Call for reversal of Tompolo’s Pipeline Surveillance Contract thickens

Call for revocation of pipeline surveillance contract awarded to Tompolo is thickening, ENigeria Newspaper reports.

Mr. Government Ekpemupolo, better known by his alias Tompolo, is a well-known ex-militant warlord in the Niger Delta. He just received a contract from the Federal government for pipeline surveillance, which is worth a staggering N48 billion annually.
The surveillance job was given to Tompolo amid reports of rampant crude theft that is ruining Nigeria’s oil industry.

ENigeria Newspaper reports that the Tompolo surveillance contract has received harsh criticism and outrage from a plethora of sources, with many questioning the entire procurement procedure.
A civil society organization, the Civil Society Legislative Advocacy Center (CISLAC), responded to the development by describing the surveillance contract as a joint promotion of criminals.

CISLAC executive director Auwal Musa asked some salient questions like,
“What is the value of the investments and allocations made from the national treasury to the numerous security paraphernalia in Nigeria if an ex-militant is seen to be more competent to deliver on security issues than the entire armed forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria,”

Auwal also asked, “Who oversight the procurement process of this award? Were there bids, and what process led to his emergence on this award? Or is our bureau of public procurement also an incompetent institution that couldn’t deliver on a free and equitable process? On the other, doesn’t the law have clear stipulations on contract awards in Nigeria?

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“It is really sad that the Nigerian government is promoting criminality, because what they have practically done is encourage criminality.

“So, criminals can take arms against the state and they can now rubbish our own security; the police, navy, army, and DSS, meaning all of them cannot secure the country or the oil pipelines. One day, the Nigerian government will come and hire terrorists to guide us. This is really terrible.”

Despite appeals from Tompolo’s faction, ENigeria Newspaper has been reliable informed that other rival ex-militant groups are already threatening fire and brimstone in the Niger-Delta.
You may recall that Tompolo made a commitment to end all hostilities with the opposing parties in order to ensure a smooth execution of the now contentious monitoring contract. However, there are clear signs that his approach has not yielded the desired effect.

For example, opposing factions loyal to Asari Dokubo, the founder of the Niger-Delta People Volunteer Force, NDPVF, are already headed for conflict with faction loyal to Tompolo the former leader of the Movement for the Emancipation of Niger-Delta, MEND and analysts say another creek war is imminent.

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Asari Dokubo asserted that Timipre Silver, the minister of state for petroleum, in awarded the contract for pipeline surveillance in Rivers State to Tompolo on purpose in a calculated attempt to spite him (Asari). As a result, he threatened to oppose and serve it hot to anyone who crossed his home territory of Kalabari in relation to pipeline surveillance including Tompolo and the Army.

Even though the federal government may have been forced to award such a sensitive surveillance contract to ex-militants due to the daily loss of over 400,000 barrels of crude and the threat to N9.4 trillion in expected revenue from crude, many now concur with governor Rotimi Akeredolu that the national security system has completely failed, making it necessary to turn to non-state actors for security.

Akeredolu criticized the central government for being willing to approve high-tech weapons for private security companies but vehemently refusing pleas from states to arm their regional security initiatives. State agencies that are well-equipped, trained, motivated, and armed would be more fitted to handle pipeline surveillance than contentious private operatives whose allegiances can change.

“The pipeline contract should be reviewed immediately, and effective, comprehensive measures taken to protect pipelines and production sites”, he concluded.

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ENIGERIA NEWSPAPER

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