The Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) yesterday said the non denial of the Wall Street Journal report on the yearly payment of about N5.6Billion to former Niger-Delta militant warlords for guarding oil pipelines is condemnable.
The Journal’s report gave a break-down of the payment as ‘General’ Government Tompolo Ekpumopolo (N3.6 billion); Asari Dokubo (N1.44billion); ‘General’ Ateke Tom (N560million) and ‘General’ Ebikabowei Boyloaf Victor Ben (N560million).
National publicity secretary of CPC, Rotimi Fashakin, in a statement recalled that President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration, earlier in the year, awarded the contract for the nation’s Maritime security to Global West Vessel Specialist Agency, a private firm owned by Government Ekpumopolo.
While regretting that the federal government’s action has invariably subordinates the Nigerian Navy to the private firm, he said the government’s reason of inability to ‘source’ the $103Million needed to invest over a 10-year period on a project expected to garner N124Billion into the nation’s coffers, generate 1,375 direct jobs and 1,620 indirect jobs is untenable.
The statement said “For the Contract to have unfettered access, the Jonathan regime had to withdraw a sponsored bill before the National Assembly that would have created Maritime Security Agency (MASECA) expected to carry out the same functions now outsourced to former Warlord Tompolo’s company. Furthermore, as part of the political indiscretion and opacity associated with this regime, a contract, at an undisclosed cost, was awarded In July 2012 to the same company owned by Tompolo for the supply of 20 patrol boats to the Nigerian Navy.
“We consider these actions as grave financial imprudence by a regime that seems not to ‘give a damn’ if the Nation totters. What is more, the Wall Street report further asserts that the Federal Government plans to spend $450 million on the amnesty programme for this year, despite the increasing theft of crude oil in the Niger-delta region.
"Is the Jonathan regime showing itself as the Government of the Militants and for the Militants alone? Is the Jonathan regime giving tacit approval to militancy as legitimate occupation? Would these payments be responsible for the threats of fire and brimstone by some ex-militant figures should the National Assembly go ahead with its impeachment threat to President Jonathan for non-implementation of the 2012 budget?”