Niger Delta group seeks inclusion of Dokubo Asari, Ateke Tom in pipeline surveillance contract

The Movement for the Survival of Izon Ethnic Nationality in the Niger Delta (MOSIEND) has made a passionate plea for the inclusion of Ateke Tom and Asari Dokubo in the next phase of pipeline surveillance contracts in the Niger Delta region. The group believes that involving these two former militant leaders in protecting oil assets could contribute to a sense of belonging among them and help ease the brewing tension in the region, which arose from their exclusion in the previous phase.

Kennedy Tonjo-West, the national president of MOSIEND, emphasized in a statement that both Ateke Tom and Asari Dokubo have been prominent figures in the Niger Delta struggle. They possess the necessary capacity, capital, and manpower to effectively secure the pipelines. The group also stressed that awarding surveillance contracts to these leaders would enable them to create job opportunities for many people in the region.

MOSIEND reminded the Federal Government that the last time surveillance contracts were awarded, it required the intervention of critical stakeholders to maintain peace in the Niger Delta. However, the group noted that these leaders and other stakeholders were excluded in the previous phase of contracts. This time, they are advocating for the inclusion of Ateke Tom and Asari Dokubo to prevent any feelings of marginalization.

The group believes that these two leaders should be given the first right of refusal for the pipeline surveillance contracts. They have called upon key government officials, including the Chief of Staff to the President, Femi Gbajabiamila, the Group Chief Executive of NNPC Ltd., Mele Kyari, and the Minister of State for Petroleum, Senator Heineken Lokpobiri, to work together to facilitate this process.

MOSIEND stressed that the awarding of these contracts should not merely be about business but should prioritize achieving lasting peace and development in the Niger Delta region. The group hopes for fairness in the distribution of pipeline surveillance contracts to stakeholders and expects that the government will recognize the region’s significant resource contributions.

Additionally, MOSIEND called on the Federal Government to consider proposals from eminent Niger Delta stakeholders who have applied for oil blocs to ensure fairness in the ownership of oil assets in the country. They urged the Minister of State for Petroleum to engage with the President to ensure equitable allocation of oil licenses, allowing those from the Niger Delta with the capacity to explore crude oil and natural gas to have their share in the industry.

Furthermore, MOSIEND encouraged the government to empower local refiners of petroleum products in the Niger Delta, who currently operate informally. They argued that providing licenses and support to these refiners would lead to economic growth in the region, reduce pipeline vandalism, oil theft, and environmental pollution, and promote legal business activities.

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