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Defence Minister bars Delta Deputy Gov, SSG from bombed oil facilities

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Minister of Defence, Brigadier General Monsur Mohammed Dan-Ali (Rtd), on Tuesday, prevented the Delta State Deputy Governor, Barr Kingsley Otuaro and other top officials of the State governments from accompanying him and other military top brass to the scene of multiple pipeline attacks in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area.

National Daily gathered that the Deputy Governor was stopped by the Minister along with the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Hon Ovie Agas and Security Adviser, David Tonwe as well as other officials of the State Government.

At the naval base in Warri on Tuesday, where the Minister and other top hierarchy of military converged for onward movement to the creek, a serious drama reportedly ensued as the deputy governor and top officials of the Delta State Government were disallowed from embarking on the trip.

The Minister was said to be angry with the state government officials for hiding under his visit to embark on a trip to scene of attack when they ought to have been there before now.

The development reportedly created a serious embarrassment as soldiers allegedly ordered the SSG and other officials who were already seated in the gunboat about conveying military personnel to the scene, to disembark immediately.

As a result,  the Minister was accompanied on the visit by the Chief of Defence Staff, Major General Abayomi Gabriel Olonishakin, as well as Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral Ete Ekwe and top brass of the military hierarchy.

But a top official of the Delta State Government familiar with the issue told National Daily that the Minister’s anger was misplaced, explaining that there was no way anyone could have visited affected oil facilities and communities without guarantee from the military.

“You know this is a security situation. Bombs are flying everywhere. How can anyone expect government officials to visit those places without proper escort and security clearance?. Clearly, the Minister must have been misinformed or not properly briefed”, he said.

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