By Abiodun Fanoro
THE Federal Government has terminated the pipeline surveillance and protection contract recently awarded to some ethnic militia by former President Goodluck Jonathan.
One of the beneficiaries of the pipeline job, the Oodua Peoples Congress (OPC), which confirmed this in a statement yesterday by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Sylvester Eweka, said the Federal Government had also drafted armed military personnel to take over the security of the facilities from the operatives.
The take-over, according Eweka, had already led to a violent clash between operatives of the militia group and the police at the oil pipeline close to Sagamu, Ogun State, during which three of its personnel had been declared missing. According to the statement, those missing were Babatunde Adeyemi, Roland Ajayi and Orungbeja Dele-Osagie.
The men went missing after an armed military task-force attempted to forcefully eject them from their area of operation at the pipeline area. The statement said: “On Sunday, a lorry-load of task force members invaded the Sagamu area, claiming it had orders to forcefully reclaim control of the pipeline area.
“Irked by this unceremonious move, the private security operatives said they had no signal from their management to vacate the site.
“However, after the ensuing fracas, three men could not be accounted for by their team leaders. “Many of the security operatives fled the scene, amidst shooting by the task-force.
“The three men were part of the 4,000 private security operatives employed by New Age Global Business representing the OPC in the contract with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to provide security against criminals engaged in pipeline vandalism and petroleum products stealing.
“At the weekend, NNPC abruptly sent an SMS message terminating the pipeline security contract with effect from June 15, 2015.”
The Publicity Secretary, who said the OPC security outfits involved in the contract were being owed three months salary, further said: “We also demand that the NNPC immediately takes responsibility for the damages caused the group and ensure swift payment of all arrears.”