Checking Security Agencies’ Involvement In Pipeline Vandalism | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Checking Security Agencies’ Involvement In Pipeline Vandalism

Posted: May 26, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

We urge the relevant police authorities and every other security agency, directly or indirectly involved with the responsibility to guard the country’s oil installations to urgently rise up to the need to resuscitate the principles of discipline and patriotism in their domain

The increasing involvement of some unscrupulous police personnel in oil pipeline vandalism has taken a worrisome dimension as media reports recently revealed that about four policemen attached to Ogun State command allegedly short a security guard on duty in a bid to aid oil thieves escape.

In 2013, about 50 vandals including five policemen were also reportedly arrested by men of the Nigerian Navy at Majidun, in Ikorodu area of Lagos recovering about 6, 000 gallons of siphoned petroleum products.

This is indeed unfortunate considering that the very policemen saddled with the responsibility to fight crime and who are supposed to work in tandem with government to halt pipeline vandalism end up conniving with the criminals to destroy public property.

Hitherto, there have been reports of persistent clashes between the Nigerian Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) and policemen in Lagos over who should guard the oil pipelines. Instructively, available reports from the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) suggest that between 2008 and December 2013, the country lost a staggering N376 billion to oil vandalism. The ministry also reported that about 180,000 barrels of crude per day valued at about $7 billion yearly are being lost to vandals.

Recall that at the heat of the Niger Delta militancy, former President Olusegun Obasanjo had made efforts to tackle the manace by creating the Joint Task Force(JTF). The Operations were later in 2012 restructured to include other security agencies to guard oil installations across the country.

But it is heart breaking that despite all these efforts, pipeline vandalism has persisted indicating that there is an unprecedented lack of sincerity of purpose with some sections of the security apparatus installed to safeguard the pipelines as they conspire with or get compromised by the vandals.

Perhaps, this is a reflection of endemic corruption that has permeated every facet of our National life. That security agents like policemen could aid oil vandals rather than stop them is not acceptable under any circumstance and therefore must not be treated with kid gloves.

We therefore urge the relevant police authorities; the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), the Ministry of Police affairs and every other security agency directly or indirectly involved with the responsibility to guard the country’s oil installations to urgently rise up to the need to resuscitate the principles of discipline and patriotism in their domain. These are principles that have over time defined the security personnel. Again, culpable policemen or any other security agent involved in pipeline vandalism should be severely punished and dismissed to serve as deterrent to others.

The incoming administration should consider the possibility of installing a special secret security technology at strategic place to monitor and transmit signals to the relevant security agencies, whenever any of the oil installations is being tampered with even as relying on security patrol of oil installations have proved not to yield expected result.