Group backs Obasanjo, ex-Militant Leader’s position on rising oil theft in N/ Delta

Olusegun Obasanjo, DRC

…provides solutions to nation’s economic crisis

By Aherhoke Okioma

A Niger Delta group, the Movement for the Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta (MSDND) has thrown its weight behind the positions put forward by the Former President, Olusegun Obasanjo and some eminent ex-Niger Delta warlords over the percentages of crude oil stolen from the Niger Delta region and the need for Federal Government to arrest the current economic hardship in the country.

While former President Obasanjo attributed the poor state of Nigeria’s economy to the nation’s intentional poor record keeping of the production capacity of crude oil and that 80 percent of crude oil produced are stolen thereby depriving the nation from attaining its OPEC quota.

The MSDND, through its Publicity Secretary, Kelvin Orughoe, pointed out that the position of Former President Olusegun Obasanjo is a clear statement made based on intelligence and in-depth knowledge of the failed battles against crude oil theft in the country, “it is time for President Bola Tinubu to take the cue and take the bull by the horn.”

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“The people stealing our crude oil are not along the creeks and waterways of the Niger Delta region. The crude oil theft is being coordinated and carried out by cartels collaborating with both state and non-state actors. Our investigations have revealed that Senior officials at the NNPCL know exactly what is going on and they have lots of questions to answer.”

“If President Tinubu is serious about combating crude oil theft and not just tough talk made for media propaganda, then he should immediately request to meet with these Ex-Militant Leaders because they have the master-plan in their possession on how to resolve the menace of crude oil theft across the Niger Delta region within thirty (30) days at zero cost to the federal government, and the federal and state governments, including government agencies will seatback and receive billions of dollars in increased revenues as a direct result of these Ex-militants leaders proposed solutions.”

“President Bola Tinubu had said that his administration is making efforts to raise at least $10 billion USD to increase FX liquidity to stabilise the naira. This was the same story that the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation Limited (NNPCL) used to justify its involvement in the controversial $3.3 billion crude oil pre-payment loan it signed with the African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) in August 2023 which did not work as planned, because we are all witness to the fact that the forex exchange rates has worsen.”

“There is no need for Nigeria to keep borrowing in order to weaken our economy. The Niger Delta Ex-militant leaders have a master-plan on how Nigeria can increase our crude oil and gas production and export within thirty (30) days which will increase our annual revenue by over $10 billion USD at no cost to the federal government.”

“We all know that these cartel members that are stealing our nation’s crude oil are no match for these Ex-militant Leaders that together control over 200,000 angry ex-militants across the region. They are ready and capable to tackle and eradicate this menace.”

The Prominent Niger Delta Ex-Militant leaders, after a stakeholders’ meeting last Thursday which was held at the residence of Senior High Chief Bibopere Ajube, also known as “Shoot-At-Sight” at Agadagba-Obon, in Ese-Odo Local Government Area (LGA) of Ondo State, as a fallout of an earlier meeting held in Port Harcourt, Rivers State on how to arrest the current economic hardship in Nigeria, particularly in the Niger Delta region called on the Federal Government to immediately embark on how to increase the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the nation in all its exports, stating that Nigerians are starving and dying.”

The Niger Delta group, the Movement for the Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta (MSDND), in a statement issued on Sunday in Warri Delta state, commended the duo of Former President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Former Militant leaders from the Niger Delta region for coming out to speak on the problems and for offering the needed solutions for the country to enable her rise above the present economic crisis.

On the stakeholders’ meeting held last Thursday by the Niger Delta Former Militant Leaders, the MSDND agreed that politicians are responsible for the rising cases of economic sabotage and the nation had no reason to be suffering in the midst of the abundant natural resources in the country.

“We agree with the position of the Ex-warlords that it is time for the various states of the federation to begin to control and manage their natural resources and contribute to the federal account.”

“It’s clear that there is no way we can survive without an increase in our production so that our exports will outshoot our imports. We want the Federal Government to share everything with the states so that they will bear the responsibilities of whatever happens in their states,” they said.

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