ABUJA, Nigeria – Former Minister of Communications, Major General Tajudeen Olanrewaju, has described as grave and unignorable, allegations by Niger Delta ex-militant leader, Asari Dokubo, that the Nigerian Army, Navy, and some influential cabals are behind 99% of the oil theft in the country.
Olanrewaju stressed these allegations represent a breach of national security.
Recall that Dokubo, after meeting with President Bola Tinubu in State House, Abuja on Friday, June 16, 2023, stated that the president had pledged to investigate allegations of significant oil bunkering by notorious naval commanders and take decisive action to halt this shameful act.
Reacting to these allegations on Saturday, June 17, 2023, Olanrewaju called on the Nigeria Police and the Department of State Services, DSS, to invite Dokubo to reveal everything he knows about the subject.
The former General Officer Commanding, GOC, Third Armoured Division of the Nigerian Army, said these allegations appeared more like an attempt to discredit the military and popularize militancy.
Olanrewaju voiced his concern over Dokubo’s seeming disregard for the military while putting himself and his group up as the solution to the nation’s security problems.
He said, “This is cheap political blackmail. Dokubo should be directed by the president to provide whatever evidence is available to him to the security services.”
Olanrewaju also recalled a vow made by the Chief of Defence Staff, CDS, General Lucky Irabor, to investigate oil theft activities in the Niger Delta last year, alongside the CEO of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited, NNPCL, Mallam Mele Kyari.
Contrarily, the Nigerian Navy countered Dokubo’s allegations, urging him to name those involved if he was telling the truth.
Commodore Adedotun Ayo-Vaughan, the Director of Naval Information, suggested that Dokubo was merely trying to win President Tinubu’s favor.
In response, General Olanrewaju argued that the Armed Forces should go beyond the Navy’s challenge and report Dokubo to the police and DSS for a thorough investigation.
He emphasized the importance of the military’s credibility, stating that any attempt to undermine it would be a costly mistake.