In a stunning revelation that has sent shockwaves through Nigeria’s maritime security sector, Tompolo’s private security firm,Tantita Security Services Nigeria Limited, has accused the Nigerian Navy of complicity in shielding oil thieves in the Niger Delta region. The explosive claims come amidst rising concerns about the rampant theft of Nigeria’s oil resources, which have severe economic implications for the nation.
Tantita, led by former militant leader Tompolo, alleges that elements within the Nigerian Navy are not only turning a blind eye to oil theft but actively aiding and abetting these criminal activities.
The firm, which is an oil pipeline surveillance firm contracted by the federal government to fight oil thieves, alleged that the Navy arrested four of its personnel were chasing some suspected oil thieves on the high seas towards a naval base.
The Nigerian Navy had on August 31, 2023, in a press statement credited to the Commander, NNS BEECROFT, Commodore Kolawole Olumide Oguntuga, stated that it arrested four Tantita personnel for alleged crude oil theft.
But in a statement issued Saturday, Tantita described the Nigerian Navy’s statement as “a tragicomedy of errors,” insisting that it was nothing short of a smear campaign.
The statement reads: “The Navy has been sharing pictures in social media of the Tantita staff in their custody in various shades of undress but kept silent about the names of the boat crew whom they were chasing. In short, where is the crew that the Tantita personnel chased into Ibeju Lekki?”, it queried.
Tantita has maintained that the parading of its staff as common criminals should “be deprecated by all right-thinking members of society, at a time when our nation is in dire straits with the unparalleled loss of revenue from a monocultural export-based economy”.
It’s alleged that some corrupt naval officers provide crucial intelligence and protection to oil thieves, allowing them to operate with impunity.
The allegations If substantiated, these claims could have far-reaching consequences for the country’s economy, as oil theft continues to siphon off billions of dollars in revenue.
Nigeria, a Nation grappling with economic challenges, can ill afford to lose more revenue to oil thieves. The accusations made by Tompolo’s private security firm underscore the urgency for a thorough investigation into the alleged collusion between the Navy and oil thieves. It is imperative that the government takes swift action to address these allegations and ensure the security of its vital oil installations.
The situation demands a multi-pronged approach that includes increased surveillance, enhanced security measures, and a crackdown on corruption within the Nigerian Navy. The maritime security crisis is not just a threat to Nigeria’s economic stability but also to its reputation on the global stage.
As the nation awaits the outcome of investigations into these serious allegations, the world watches closely, knowing that the resolution of this crisis could have a profound impact on Nigeria’s future.
The truth behind Tompolo’s claims must be uncovered, and those responsible for jeopardizing Nigeria’s maritime security must be held accountable.