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Chinese are secretly mining solid minerals across Nigeria – Ann-Kio Briggs reveals

The English-born Nigerian environmentalist and human rights activist, Ms. Ann-Kio Briggs, said that Chinese people are secretly mining solid minerals across Nigeria, in this interview with African Independent Television (AIT), breakfast show KAKAKI monitored by Linus Aleke

You alleged in the past that the Nigerian military was complacent to the oil theft in Niger Delta, and Asari Dokubo corroborated it recently and it gained traction in both mainstream and online media, why was it so?

I don’t really know why it gained more traction, just because it was mentioned by Asari Dokubo, right now. Tompolo, talked about it last year, he addressed a press conference, over the fact that the company he owns has been given back the same responsibility or contract that was given to him earlier on, in which other people were also involved. Other people like Boyloaf was involved in that contract that was given and approved by the then president, late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, before he unfortunately passed away and former president Goodluck Jonathan, went on to execute it. Now, a lot of different statements have come, the Petroleum and Natural Gas Senior Staff Association of Nigeria, PENGASSAN, said it, and the Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative, NEITI, also confirmed same.

These are Government agencies that have said this thing. Former Governor of Rivers State, Ezenwo Nyesom Wike, equally said it in the past, and, I also had said it in the past. If you visit Niger Delta regularly, or you are just passing through, you definitely will be aware that there is a lot of connivance, and there is unity when it comes to oil theft. Especially, between those that are supposed to be guarding the pipelines, positioned by the Government in the Creeks to police the pipelines. Sometimes, there had been fights, gun fight between the military and some of the people that are actually involved in the oil theft. When there are no gun fights, then it means that everything is going on well. This is something that is carried out on such a huge scale that even the head of Mobil some years ago said that it is an internationally organized crime.

Now, if that be true, what we should be driving at is not the stale news of the fact that this is going on, but to extend this kind of security surveillance in other regions outside of the Niger Delta. Even the Russian Mafia has been associated with oil theft in Nigeria. The issue then is not to say bring prove, or do this and that. What we should be saying is, if any government, and it has not been so, if there is a government that will come to Nigeria today, whether it is this government or a future government, that is willing to stop oil theft.

The task of bringing proof is key in dealing with this issue because if there is no punishment for any offender, then there would be no deterrent for others who may want to toe that line or is there reason why those involved should not be named, especially now that the military had denied involvement?

I am surprise that the military is saying, bring proof. I just narrated to you that Tompolo himself who now has a contract, alleged military involvement in no distant past. Former Governor Wike, said same thing while in office, If Asari Dokubo is saying it now what is the difference? I also said it in the past but I didn’t say it the way that Asari had said it now. Definitely, there is involvement of the people that are supposed to be guarding the pipelines. The big people who send these troops to the Creeks, we are told are collecting some form of payment, to influence posting of troops to the Creeks to guard the pipelines. Now, if these things are not true, then the military for instance, can take whoever they want to court if they say it is not true. I also, want to call on our people, the Niger Delta people, the owners of the resources that the Federal Government is carting away from the region. We should make case against the military, as our people are often killed in the Creeks by the military.

Our people get killed by people who are involved in this oil theft. These are the things going on in the Niger Delta. What we should be driving at and what we should be looking at is how to use this information to put a stop to what is going on in the Niger Delta. I am not particularly sympathetic as a person towards the amount of money that the Federal Government claims it is losing, because it is even understated. I say so because the Government itself is not even aware of the amount of oil that is being lifted. So, if it is not aware, then, it cannot claim to be aware of the real statistics of crude oil being stolen. If the military says it is not involved, then, I think that the military should also, prove that it is not involved by doing what is necessary to clear its name. We should also do what is necessary to prove that the military is involved. Tompolo, I believe, in his recent statement, made it clear that the military is involved, it is not only Asari Dokubo that has said this.

How was this huge security gap created in the Niger Delta that enable oil thieves to siphon our national resources unchallenged?

First of all, I want to point out that the Niger Delta oil and gas are not the only resources that are being stolen in Nigeria. As you and I speak today, every other solid mineral that is deposited in the belly of the earth in Northern Nigeria is being stolen. In Osun, and Zamfara, gold is being stolen, it is been mined secretly, and the Chinese are in there mining it. There are dishonest Nigerians who are part of this process as well. So, when we are talking of our resources in quote, that are being stolen in the Niger Delta, we should also begin to concentrate on the solid minerals that are being stolen as we speak right now. The Federal Government should answer this question, it is not our responsibility to answer this question.

Some said that this allegation by Niger Delta people is a form of defence as the Federal Government had earlier alleged that they are responsible for the bursting of pipelines, so as to steal from it, and that now they are stealing from oil wells because they know the locations, how valid is that?

This is not true. The people appointed by the Federal Government, the Navy, the Army, and to a very large extent the Air Force as well, are responsible. This is because the Air Force is supposed to fly over the areas where these pipelines are located. Because those pipelines are there, and we know where the pipelines are, does not necessarily make us guilty of this heinous crime against the environment, against the people of the Niger Delta.

When this theft was first discovered or spoken about in the early 200 when Obasanjo was the president. It happened because some of our people were already in the Creeks that were at that time uninhabitable. People were not living there but people go there to fish and all of that.

Let’s look at this analogy together. This piece of the clock, let us assume is out in the Atlantic Ocean and that this piece of the clock that I am holding is the mother ship that will eventually take off from the Atlantic Ocean in the Bight of Bonny. This in my left hand will be what we call the barge because this mother ship cannot come to the point where the pipes burst or now, directly from the well-head.

The barge is the one that goes as far as it can go, into the pipelines or the well-heads, and it is opened. Mind you before you burst a pipe that is flowing with oil, you will have to know at what time to burst it.

Now, it brings in the workers of the oil companies, and we have said, that the oil companies and the workers are also part of this process of stealing the oil because they are the ones that are drilling the oil, so they know what pipeline, either A, B, C, or D is following with oil at that particular time.

They can now instruct their collaborators, to burst in, that they would open for them to fill their barge. Now, when the barges collect the crude, the barges move from the busted pipelines or well heads to fill the mother ship. Between the pipelines or well heads and the mother ship, the Navy, the Air Force, and the Army and the Civil Defence or whatever, should be there watching.

Now, the question is, where are they when this crude is being stolen and moved into the Atlantic Ocean to discharge into the stationed mother ship? And how many times does the barge has to go to fill the mother ship? Who are the owners of those ships?

The ships are not owned by Niger Delta people, they are not owned by the Ijaw people, and they are not owned by Ann-Kio Briggs. So, who owns the barges, and who owns those mother ships?

ecause ships are registered at the international level and so they fly a flag of a country. Who is buying this crude oil that is stolen? There is a market, a recognized market internationally that buys and sells this oil. These questions must be answered by the countries in which those ships are registered, in whose flag those ships are flying, that is one. Nigerian officials are the ones we should ask those questions. Not the Niger Delta people, if they are not asking those questions, then something is seriously wrong.

We now have nonstate actors who have security clearance and security outfits going into the Creeks because of their knowledge of the environment and because of the fact that these are their ancestral land and mangroves.

We have all these problems, facts, and realities to face.

And again, I repeat that the Government should start a discussion on why the Chinese are mining gold in different parts of the country, north, and south. These questions are meant for the Federal Government to answer, and not the people that are suffering from the fallout of the failure of the Nigerian State to protect life and property of Nigeria and Nigerians.

-This Nigeriawp_posts

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Posted by on Jun 27 2023. Filed under Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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