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JTF, politicians accused of collaborating with criminals to steal crude

CHINEDU WOSU, Yenagoa

Following the increasing waves of illegal oil bunkering, sea piracy and other criminal activities along the creeks of the Niger Delta increases ,the security agencies and politicians have been accused of collaborating with criminals to sabotage the nation’s  economy by engaging  in illegal bunkering, pipeline vandalisation and  oil thefts.
Speaking to newsmen in Yenagoa, , Chairman, Swamp Area Oil And Gas Producing  Communities, Bayelsa State, High Chief Victor  Igbaba, said for oil theft, illegal refineries camps and vandalization of pipeline and other illegal activities to stop, government at all levels and the multinationals must  involve the indigenes since they understand the terrain more than any security agents.
He alleged that most politicians and members of JTF including  other security agencies are part of these  illegal oil business deals in Niger Delta.
“We are saying no to oil theft, pipeline vandals, illegal refineries, sea piracy and other criminal activities along the water ways. Most of our politicians, Joint Task Force (JTF), and other security agencies are part of these illegal business”, he alleged.
The aggrieved chairman said he was  once arrested by police officers  from the state Criminal Investigation Bureau over allegation of collecting money from oil bearing communities.
“We are saying no to contracts given out to non-indigenes to secure oil pipelines and other surveillance activities “, he said.
He also  told journalists that the organisation was duly registered by Corporate Affairs Commission and inaugurated by the state government even as  the Secretary to the State Government represents the Governor.
“Though I was not beaten or tortured, but detained for 24 hours and striped naked, a recognized chief from Mr. President maternal home. I will not take up the matter with them,  but  want them to cooperate with us to bring these menace of illegal bunkering, sea piracy and other illegal activities to the bearest minimum”, Igbaba said.

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