Dickson Threatens Ex-Militants Over Pipeline Surveillance Contract…..Sahara Reporters

The battle line between Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa and some ex-militant figures in the state has been drawn over a multibillion-naira pipeline surveillance contract awarded by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Two of the ex-militants accused Governor Dickson of mobilizing numerous traditional rulers in oil producing areas by promising them a chunk of the juicy contract in order to sway them to his side.

Seriake DicksonSpeaking at a meeting he convened on Friday to woo traditional rulers, Mr. Dickson threatened to deal decisively with the ex-militants.

In a statement credited to the governor’s spokesman, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, the state government vowed to deal with the ex-militants according to law.

“Bayelsa State governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson on Friday in Yenagoa had an interactive session with the Chiefs and leaders of Oil and Gas host and transit communities with a threat to deal with any person or group of persons under the guise of ex-militants or whatever names trying to form a parallel government under his leadership.

“Such persons will be dealt with according to the law, using the instruments of the government, adding that, his administration will never succumb to threats and intimidation from any group of persons because of NNPC pipeline surveillance contract,” the statement read in part.

Earlier this week, hundreds of ex-militants had staged a demonstration in Yenagoa, the state capital, to protest alleged moves by Mr. Dickson to hijack the contract meant for residents of oil-bearing communities.

One ex-militant was reportedly shot dead by riot police during the protest led by Paul Eris, aka Ogunboss.

The protesting ex-militants had warned the governor to restrict himself to state funds in administering Bayelsa State, dismissing the reasons the government had advanced to justify taking over the surveillance contract.

The militants also accused Mr. Dickson of diverting huge chunks of the oil derivation funds the state receives on some fancy projects that have little bearing on the development of oil-producing communities. They served the governor notice that they would resist any moves he makes to hijack the surveillance jobs coming from NNPC to oil communities.

The ex-militants declared that it was insensitive of the Dickson government to seize the surveillance contracts under the ruse that it was for the entire state.

“This sort of injustice is very bizarre, and Dickson thinks we are naïve. How has he been spending the derivation proceeds received?” one of the ex-militants asked.

On Thursday night, the Yenagoa residence of Ogunboss bombed by unknown men who hurled explosives, suspected to be dynamite. The assailants then escaped.

Ogunboss told newsmen on Friday that he was targeted in the attack for his stand that the pipeline surveillance job should remain with oil communities.


1 Comment

  1. This is the kind of ugly situation one finds in the land when and where the Federal Government cowardly contracts the security of the State, any part thereof including strategic resources and/or infrastructure to private hands in lieu of empowering the State Military, the Police and other constitutionally empowered and mandated to oversee, man and secure same. There is more of political dubiousness merged in State cowardice when the security of the nation’s petroleum (resources/products)infrastructures were practically handed over to local militias and individuals who at one time or the other picked arms against the State, bringing government and the nation to its economic knees by their inactions which included vandalisation of the same infrastructure and facilities. Today, the FG deems it fit in its wisdom, sorry, foolishness to such to engage these sets of militias to champion the manning of such strategic infrastructure in the name of rallying host communities and the locale as they know and can do the work of protecting such facilities much better than constitutionally empowered and duty bound State security institutions like the Military, the Police and other paramilitaries. The plausible rational behind this act of cowardice and impunity has been that and like it is coined in African, nay, Nigerian parlance, it is (un)repentant thieves that CAN (and in this case, SHOULD) be in the best of position to trail and nail fellow but unyielding thieves. This is nothing but glorifying crime, encouraging criminals and promoting criminality. It is like using darkness to enlightened the night. Such warped methodology cannot herald the day dawn. Saying the the cat should be engaged to watch over a roasted chicken or a lizard is to set in motion the law of fraught and destruction. For by nature, this carnivore will end up devouring the chicken and the lizard because the cat is designed to feast on those other species of animal. This is exactly what the Federal Government, through the NNPC has succeeded in doing to itself, the people and the communities involved and unfortunately the entire wellbeing of this nation. The very same set of people who at a time profited largely from sabotaging the economic conduits of the nation through pipeline vandalism, oil thief and bunkering are now being deployed to stop ‘other’ people ‘of the same communities from such but profitable misadventures. What the government has done is to unwittingly give and indeed provide backing for this illegitimate acts and dealings against the Nigerian State. But the discerning know better what is going down with this sort of strange contracts and engagements. It is to settle some people and groups for political reasons and patronage. It is to arm some with needed wealth to prosecute political and economic wars against some people or groups within the State. It is to help some individuals, groups and sections to have undue edge and advantage over and above others for whatever political, economic, social, and cultural reasons. But in the all, this misstep by the government have grave consequences on whoever conceived, implemented and indeed sealed this dubious deals. It will ultimately have a backlash. It will indeed backfire. The same private hands that are today being empowered to ‘protect’ whatever will and by tomorrow be so strong and powerful to raise arms against the State. It’s a vicious circle. This is how formidable rebels and rebellion against the State is breed and fostered. The inactions of the government fueled by personal ambitions, political patronage, corporate settlements and other ‘paddy-paddy’ arrangements will and is ultimately being done to lead this country into a failed State. Somalia should readily instruct Nigerians on this misadventure by the government and especially tjis current administration. The love of self and clannish consideration above and beyond the love for all and national interest is misleading this government into setting the stage for unquenchable fire to engulf this nation. The incumbent government is narrowly and myopically constrained by envisioning itself within its lifespan of 6years or if the people or the providence allows, say 10years but not looking at the lasting and generational effects of many of its indecision and inactions altogether. What Nation-State is the government building and seek to sustain by empowering individuals and militias more that the institutions and machinery of the State constituted to secure and protect the country? Sadly for Nigeria, the local militias are allegedly have more and better highly sophisticated arms that the men of the arm forces and the police. If this sounds axaggerated, maybe the complains by many of the policemen and the military that arm robbers and indeed the insurgents do most time outwit, outnumbered and overrun them and their operations when circumstances engage them in battles. There were reported cases of police men taking to their heels when confronted with better armed social miscreants and robbers. That GlobalWest, a company owned and operated by an ex-militant leader is today contracted to man the territorial waters of Nigeria whilst the Nigeria Navy, the Marine Police and Coastal Guard have to play the second fiddle in the management and protection of the Maritime resources of this nation sadly reiterate the point here evinced against this administration crass disposition and warped policy to governance, state security and overall welfare of the citizenry.

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