In a shocking revelation, former Niger Delta militant Asari Dokubo has accused the Nigerian Army and Navy of being involved in rampant crude oil theft in the Niger Delta region. Dokubo made these allegations during a public address at the State House, where he claimed that 99 percent of oil theft could be traced back to the military. The gravity of these accusations raises concerns about the state of affairs in Nigeria.

Dokubo, known for his involvement in the security sector, spoke boldly and confidently, presenting himself as an authority on the matter. He went on to assert that the Army and Navy were behind the oil theft, implicating them as the main perpetrators. The public nature of his accusations, made in the presence of the country’s Commander-in-Chief, the President, further intensified the impact of his words.

Surprisingly, the military’s response to these serious allegations has been limited to challenging Dokubo to name the military officers involved. This lackluster response has left many questioning whether the military truly comprehends the gravity of the accusations and the negative perception they create, both domestically and internationally.

Experts agree that crude oil theft in Nigeria is not solely the work of rogue individuals but rather an organized crime involving elements of the security forces, as well as local political and militia leaders. Dokubo’s allegations shed light on the deep-rooted corruption within the country and the urgent need to address this issue.

While Dokubo’s motives for making these allegations remain unclear, it is worth noting that he recently expressed his dissatisfaction with the previous administration, suggesting that powerful interests within it may have been involved in the oil theft business. His decision to come forward now, during the early days of President Tinubu’s term, suggests that he sees an opportunity for a shift in his favor.

The implications of this confrontation between Dokubo and the military are far-reaching. Dokubo’s attempt to secure a pipeline protection contract from President Tinubu by discrediting the military may prove futile if the security forces refuse to cooperate. On the other hand, if President Tinubu prioritizes non-state actors over established state actors in the security sector, he risks alienating the military, which could lead to further challenges in the Niger Delta region.

Now, did Asari actually say “I am a participant in this war (insecurity); I fight on the side of the government of the Nigerian State in Plateau, Niger, Anambra, Imo, Abia, and Rivers?

“And in Abuja today you are travelling to Kaduna on this road. It is not the army that makes it possible to travel to and from Abuja- Kaduna. It is my men employed by the Government of the Nigerian State, stationed in Niger.”

In some of my past treatises, it was strongly alluded that the spate of killings, and senseless bloodshed in the South East could not have been masterminded by full-blooded Igbos because the act is very strange to Igbo culture. A typical Igboman can never take a life except by mistake, during a robbery, or on glaring provocation.
Now the truth is coming out that the killings in Plateau, Benue, Imo, Anambra, and Abia are done by Asari’s militia men engaged by the Government of the Federation.

We will like to know which of the Governments whether Buhari’s or was he engaged by Tinubu as a presidential aspirant to rattle the Southeast and make it impossible for them to ask and get the slot to rule the country which could have been rightly theirs as the chance came back to the south after Buhari’s tenure. This is another discuss entirely so let’s leave it first! God bless Nigeria.

It is crucial for the Nigerian government to handle this situation delicately to avoid triggering armed confrontations or the emergence of new warlords seeking territorial control. Additionally, President Tinubu must exercise caution in dealing with Dokubo’s claims and avoid creating divisions among former militant warlords, including Tompolo, who may feel marginalized by the president’s actions.

The allegations made by Dokubo raise questions about the prevailing state of affairs in Nigeria, where corruption has infiltrated various aspects of national life, including the military. It is imperative for the government to thoroughly investigate these allegations and hold those responsible for the theft of Nigeria’s most prized natural resource accountable.

• Mr. Izeze is a National Daily Columnist and can be reached on: iizeze@yahoo.com; sms: +234-8033043009

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