Military,DSS deny thieves access to oil products worth N1.2bn in 2 weeks, says DHQ

The Defence Headquarters has said that petroleum products worth of a total sum of N1,235,624,462.45 were denied oil thieves in the past two weeks.

Director of Defence Media Operations ,DMO, Major General Musa Danmadami made this disclosure in Abuja on Thursday during the bi-weekly media briefing on the operational activities of the Armed Forces of Nigeria and other Security agencies in the country.

According to him, troops of Operation DELTA SAFE in conjunction with the Department of State Service continued to conduct kinetic operations in the past weeks geared towards denying criminal elements freedom of action and essentially to sustain a conducive environment for economic activities to thrive in the South South zone.

“Accordingly, the Joint Task Force operation DELTA SAFE in the conduct of Operation OCTOPUS GRIP and Operation DAKATAR DA BARAWO conducted patrols and anti-illegal oil bunkering and swap buggy operation at different locations in the Niger Delta region, within towns, villages, communities and creeks in Bayelsa and Rivers State respectively.

Notably, he said “on August 28, 2022, Nigerian Navy Ship SOROH on patrol at Forupa area of Bayelsa State arrested a suspected sea robber name Mr Dibo who has been on the watch list of wanted pirates.”

“The suspect and his gang have been terrorizing and robbing passenger boats, along Southern Ijaw and its environs. Similarly, troops raided suspected criminals hide out at Iriebe village in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State .
Also arrested were 20 suspects with large quantities of substance suspected to be cannabis sativa.

Troops of Operation DELTA SAFE within the period under review discovered and destroyed 67 illegal refining sites, 11 wooden boats, 218 storage tanks, 168 cooking ovens, and 61 dugout pits.

“Troops also recovered two million and Seventy thousand (2,070,000) litres of crude oil, Seven Hundred and six thousand (706,000) litres of automotive gas oil, Fifteen thousand five hundred (15,500) litres of dual purpose kerosine, sixty seven thousand (67,000) litres of premium motor spirit, 8 trucks, 3 pumping machines, 3 outboard engines and 3 generators, while, 5 pipelines vandals were arrested.

According to him,the estimated value of product seized are as follows:”N664,867,307.45 of crude oil, N546,712,280.00 of automotive gas oil, N12,241,125.00) dual purpose kerosine and Eleven Million Eight Hundred and Three Thousand Seven and Fifty Naira only (N11,803,750.00) for Premium Motor Spirit, all valued at sum total One Billion Two Hundred and Thirty Five Million Six Hundred Twenty Four Thousand Four Hundred and Sixty Two Naira and Forty Five Kobo (N1,235,624,462.) was denied oil thieves during the period under review. All recovered items were handed over to the relevant authority for further action”

Major General Danmadami vehemently denied accusations by oil stakeholders from the Southern part of the country that soldiers guarding and monitoring the oil pipelines facilities were responsible for oil theft in the region.

Also contributing at the press briefing , the Director of Defence Information,DDI, Major General J. O. Akpor said the military was not involved in crude oil theft. He said that by making such accusations the oil stakeholders are making soldiers that are monitoring the pipelines ” canon folders” which is unfortunate.

“Military who is operating in a very difficult terrain is now the weeping child, if the stakeholders carried out their threats to embarked on demonstration” he lamented.

Major General Akpor maintained that the military is doing it’s possible best in view of the terrain in which is operating. While stating that there no justification to point accusing fingers on the military for the crude oil theft, the DDI said that the truism that “if you are fighting corruption expect that corruption will fight back , that is what playing out.