Prominent Niger Delta leader and former agitator, Mujahid Asari Dokubo, on Friday, in Abuja, alleged that the bulk cases of oil theft recorded in the oil-rich region are traceable to the Nigerian Army and Navy.

“The military is at the centre of oil theft and we have to make this very clear to the Nigerian public that 99 percent of oil theft can be traced to the Nigerian military, the Army, and the Navy especially,” Dokubo told the State House, correspondents after he met President Bola Tinubu behind closed doors at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

However, he pledged his support to the Federal Government to bring oil theft to “zero,” believing that the Tinubu-led administration would “fish out” the culpable elements in the military.

In April, the Nigerian Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative revealed that Nigeria lost 619.7 million barrels of crude oil valued at N16.25tn to crude oil theft between 2009 and 2020.

The data gathered from the agency’s latest policy brief titled, “The cost of fuel subsidy: A case for policy review,” also stated that the country spent over N13tn ($74 billion) on fuel subsidies between 2005 and 2021.

Speaking on Friday, Dokubo said oil theft and security framed his nearly two-hour discussion with the President.

Nevertheless, the former agitator said he had assured the new administration of his support to ensure “zero” oil theft in the Niger Delta.

He said “Myself and my brothers have assured the President that there will be zero oil theft and vandalization in the Niger Delta.

“We’re going to walk with an NPPCL and the IOCs to make sure that oil tapped is brought to zero.”

On security, he faulted the narrative that the military was underequipped to take on terrorism, banditry and militancy head-on, describing it as “blackmail.”

For Dokubo, “The blackmail of the Nigerian state by the Nigerian military is shameful. They said they do not have enough armament and people listen to these false narratives. So this blackmail must end. They have enough resources to fight.”

He argued that the release of the leader of the Indigenous People of Biafra, Nnamdi Kanu, would not ease the tensions in the South-East. Rather, it would fuel impunity.

“During EndSars, Nnamdi Kanu was walking free. What did he do? He poured petrol on the flames of EndSars. Now, he has been caught. What of the people who have died? This is a criminal. He should face the law.

Punch/Simeon Ugbodovon

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