‘Burning Of Seized Oil Vessel Plan To Shield Real Thieves’ – Monarch
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A traditional ruler and Chairman of the Bayelsa Traditional Rulers Council, His Royal Majesty Bubaraye Dakolo claimed that a vessel full of stolen crude oil bound for Cameroon was burned to protect the true oil thieves.
The vessel was intercepted in the Escravos Sea in Delta State.
The ruler criticized the burning of the ship, calling it a wasteful act. He made his remarks during an appearance on Arise TV’s The Morning Show on Wednesday.
Security agencies had set the vessel on fire on Tuesday, stating that the act was a deterrent to potential offenders.
Captain Warredi Enisuoh, the Tantita Executive Director on Technical Operations, said, “The whole idea of destroying the vessel is to send a strong message to all would-be investors.”
However, Dakolo believes the burning was designed to protect the actual oil thieves.
He said, “I can tell you for free that that vehicle (vessel) was burnt because it was cheaper to burn it than to bring in the oil thieves that (are) behind it all.
“Usually, what Nigeria has done in the last several decades is to parade a young, helpless, improperly-educated, jobless youth from the Niger Delta as the typical thief. But I argue that such a person shouldn’t be called a thief, he should be rehabilitated. He belongs to a place where you have to educate him, re-orientate him, and make him a patriotic Nigerian. He is a victim of oil thieves.”
Dakolo stated that the real oil thieves were affluent individuals with properties in multiple cities worldwide.
He believes that these individuals are known to the authorities but are never implicated.
The traditional ruler also argued that burning the vessel was economically foolish, as the stolen oil was worth around $100 million.
Dakolo asserted that the loading of the crude oil onto the vessel would not have been possible without the knowledge of Nigerian authorities and security agencies.
He claimed that the oil was likely loaded at an authorized loading bay and known to all relevant agencies.