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Northern Youths Protest Against Renewal of Tompolo’s Pipeline Surveillance Contract



On Monday, a coalition of youth groups hailing from the Northern region, represented by the Northern Youth Advocacy for Good Governance Initiative and the Arewa Youth Forum, organized a protest at the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) headquarters in Abuja. Their primary demand was the cancellation of a pipeline surveillance contract that had been previously awarded by former President Muhammadu Buhari to a Niger Delta militant leader, known as Government Ekpemupolo or popularly referred to as Tompolo.

During this demonstration, the protesters brandished various placards bearing their grievances and concerns. They urged President Ahmed Bola Tinubu not to proceed with renewing the contract assigned to Tantita Security, a company owned by Tompolo. Their objections were grounded in several factors, with a prominent one being the alleged “wanton financial mismanagement” that had marred the execution of the contract.

Some of the inscriptions on their placards read, “Tompolo’s Pipeline Surveillance is a Fraud”, “Sack and Probe Mele Kyari Now”, “NNPC Now an Osusu Ministry”, among others.

The President of the Arewa Youth Congress, Comrade Musa Adebayo, who read the joint statement signed by himself and the President of the Northern Youth Advocacy for Good Governance Initiative, Comrade Usman Saidu, said with no “significant rise in oil production since the contract was awarded to Tompolo’s company,” there was no reason why the contract should be renewed.

“We expect that the federal government’s interest should be centred on knowing the true cost of the pipeline surveillance contract as awarded as fresh facts and figures continue to emerge in the media,” the statement reads in part.

“As concerned citizens, we should understand that the country is too tensed to allow for any auction that may breed internal turmoil and more controversies within the ranks of its citizenry.

“We believe that awarding contracts to someone who should ordinarily be behind bars for the economic mayhem caused in the Niger Delta region between 2016 and 2018 is total anti-peace and anti-development.”

“It is hence a major matter of concern how much effort are being made to re-award the pipeline surveillance contracts to an ex-Militant General despite the tension, financial malfeasance, disinformation and abnormalities that are inherent in the contract,”

“We also expect the Federal government to suspend the NNPCL Group Chief Executive, Mele Kolo Kyari, Executive Vice President (Upstream), Adokye Tombomieye, the Managing Director, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) Ali Muhammed Zahra and Managing Director, National Petroleum Investment Management Services and Bala Wunti, and thoroughly investigate them for their roles in the contracts for the security and maintenance of pipeline infrastructure and ancillary facilities for Eastern and Western corridors, and the establishment of a project management office for an unknown company (Inter-Atlas Limited ), which cost the Federal government almost $1 billion in the last one year,” the coalition’s statement said.