An anti-graft group based in the United Kingdom – the Stakeholders Democracy Network – on Wednesday faulted the Federal Government’s military campaign against oil thieves in the Niger Delta region, describing it as selfish.
The Country Coordinator of the group, Mr. Inemo Samaima, wondered why the government failed to display similar zeal in protecting the polluted environment of the region.
Samaima, in a statement made available to the journalists in Yenagoa, said by concentrating its efforts on clamping down on oil thieves, the government had shown that it was only interested in protecting the country’s economy to the detriment of environmental protection.
While condemning the activities of oil thieves, he said government’s excessive focus on security action against illegal bunkering and crude oil theft was a poor "reflection of its policy focus and sign of wickedness against the Niger Delta region".
He said the group’s position was against the backdrop of the Federal Government’s inaction on pollution of the region’s waterways by the Chevron’s oil rig explosion at Koluama, Southern Ijaw Local Government Area, Bayelsa State.
He said, "The 2012 is typical of a year when much was put in the public domain about oil spills especially those from illegal refineries but too little was done to address the massive gap between Nigeria’s spill record and its capacity to contain and clean up oil spills."