Oil thieves, like terrorists, have declared war on Nigeria — Gbajabiamila
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila has likened oil thieves to terrorists and urged the federal government to treat them like insurgents.
Mr Gbajabiamila, in his welcome address on Tuesday, at the resumption of plenary at the green chamber explained that despite the money spent yearly on protecting oil assets, the arrangements are not working.
It would be recalled that the government and the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Limited agreed to engage General Tompolo to end illegal bunkering, illegal refining and oil theft in Niger-Delta communities.
The multi-billion surveillance contract has been generating reactions across the country.
Mr Gbajabiamila in his speech said there is a need for the government to review the existing policy on oil theft.
He urged the government to treat oil thieves like terrorists.
“There are mechanisms in place to prevent these sorts of bad actors, and the government spends significant amounts of money each year to protect oil and gas resources in the country. Evidently, these existing arrangements do not suffice. As such, there is an urgent need to review them and make the necessary improvements.
“It is also of particular importance that the perpetrators of these crimes against the state are identified, prosecuted and subjected to the stiffest penalties the law allows. Those who seek to impoverish our country in this manner have declared war against the Nigerian people.
“ They are no different from the insurgents and terrorists against whom we are battling in various theatres. The government’s response must be sufficient to convince them of the error of their ways and deter others who might be tempted to join in their treason,” he said.
Mr Gbajabiamila also admonished his colleagues not to abandon their responsibilities as lawmakers as campaigns are about to commence.
He also commended the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency for the recent drug burst at Ikorodu in Lagos.
The speaker noted that Nigerians must do all it takes to prevent drugs from overrunning the country.
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