‘There Is No Link Between Private Security Outfits And The Gruesome Murder Of Soldiers On Lawful Duty’

The Ijaw Youths Network (IYN) rebuked former Minister of Defence, Maj. Gen. Tajudeen Olarenwaju, on Friday for connecting the deaths of 16 Nigerian Army officers and soldiers in Okuama, Delta State, to a pipeline protection contract granted by the Federal Government.

Naija News recalls that Olarenwaju stated that it’s dangerous for non-state actors to provide security for oil installations in the country, attributing the killings to the contract carried out by Tantita Security Services Limited.

However, the IYN, in a statement released by its Coordinator, Frank Ebikabo, and Secretary, Federal Ebiaridor, criticized Olarenwaju for endorsing the narrative pushed by oil thieves and their associates who were overlooked for the pipeline contract.

The IYN stressed that Olarenwaju’s priority should be extending condolences to the Nigerian Army during their moment of sorrow and being concerned about tracking down and arresting those responsible for the murder of the military personnel instead of stirring up unnecessary controversy.

The statement partly read, “It is shocking that the General is reducing the cold-blooded murder of soldiers as a fallout of gang violence in the region. This is an attempt to twist the facts of the matter.

“There is no link between the private security outfits and the gruesome murder of soldiers on lawful duty. This rush to throw curious, unsolicited advice should be beneath him.

“His suggestion is personal opinion inspired by lack of understanding of the story of the nation’s oil sector or a classic case of selective amnesia.

“Such hurried viewpoints seem to suggest that some ingrained interest who are jolted by the gains of the campaigns of oil theft are at work.

“The military assets of the country are already over stretched. Successive Presidents have engaged private security outfits to fight the lethal scourge of oil theft in Nigeria. It is not unusual and it is a trend that is commonplace around the world.

“Even developed countries such as the US and the UK also employ the services private security consultants to maximize security of critical assets and facilities.

“Prior to the renewal of the contract of Tantita Security Services, the General had not found it necessary to besiege the media space about the purported inappropriateness of engaging private security outfit to fight oil theft.

“Perhaps, the various feats accomplished by Tantita and the widespread recognition accorded to the company should convince the General that private security outfits do not constitute any danger to the security of the nation’s critical oil pipeline.

“What should be of concern to the General is the sad story of oil theft that made the President and the NNPC to seek proactive response to the problem that threatened the nation’s existence.

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